An Angry Album Perfect For the Times
Uniform’s Wake in Fright is an exploration of madness layered under crude instrumentals and vocals that are shouted rather than sung. Slated for a January 20th release, the album could not come at a more perfect time. While the record seems directed towards the political, the group’s message is for the voiceless and vulnerable. The music bravely faces the unhinged future of the world and screams at it.
The New York-based band came to fruition in 2013 after Michael Berdan and Ben Greenberg reconnected and decided to form a duo. Their sound is hard to define. Is it thrash rock, metal or electronic-noise? Or maybe it is all three. Their first album Perfect World saw the band exploring industrial style music, as Berdan’s vocals sounded as if he was going to eat the microphone at any minute. Wake in Fright still retains this industrial sound, but Berdan now shouts his vocals at the listener, making the songs that much more raw and potent.
The album opens with the frenetic “Tabloid,” a song that puts a sound to the exaggerated detritus that lines the checkout counter at a grocery store. It’s fast, unrefined and sets the bar high for the remainder of the record. It transitions not so subtly into “Habit,” which begins with the sound of a crowd cheering before exploding into drums and synths. Lyrically, the song’s story sees an unnamed character delving into addictions and continual relapses. Other tracks like “The Lost” and “Night of Fear” explore more electronic sounds and offer a brief departure from the pummeling percussion that saturates the rest of the album. Finally, “The Killing of America” offers one of Wake in Fright‘s more relevant tracks. While most of its lyrics are indecipherable, Berdan’s message gets across when he energetically shrieks over the guitar and drums.
Greenberg has said that this record is a response to the world at this very moment. It is a reaction to a world flooded with “overwhelming violence, chaos, hate and destruction.” While there are moments of brutal imagery, the point of this album is clear; that is, it wants to confront all of these issues head on and give a voice to those who feel powerless and, at the end of the record, it achieves all of this and more.