Following the release of critically acclaimed LP Wake in Fright, which had two songs featured in the new season of David Lynch's Twin Peaks, it was time for Uniform vocalist Michael Berdan and instrumentalist Ben Greenberg to return to the studio. The duo decided to up the ante and add a third member to help perfect their vicious post-industrial dystopian cyber-punk. After some deliberation, Greenberg called upon drummer Greg Fox (Liturgy, Zs) to help round out the sound they were looking for. Using a mix of triggered samples and real drums along with layered synths and good old electric guitar, the trio arrived at what would become The Long Walk after only a few short days in the studio.
In Spring 2017, Uniform was asked to support fellow noisy, boundary-pushing duo The Body for a European tour. Having been longtime fans of the band, Uniform vocalist Michael Berdan and guitarist Ben Greenberg jumped at the opportunity. During the planning phase of the tour, Berdan and Lee Buford from The Body started corresponding regularly. Ultimately, Berdan asked Buford if he and The Body cofounder Chip King would be interested in making a collaborative record with Uniform. Buford enthusiastically assented, and the seed of Mental Wounds Not Healing was sown.
The title of the record is a line stolen from the chorus of Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train." Most of the titles are culled from horror literature and cinema, with specific nods to Shirley Jackson, Jack Ketchum, and Elem Klimov. Thematically, the songs have to do with feeling trapped in one's own mind, projecting images over and over again of a future in shambles before it even gets a chance to happen. It is about hopelessness, anxiety, and depression so familiar that they seem like permanent fixtures of one's psyche and identity.
Wake in Fright, the second full-length by the New York City duo Uniform, is a harrowing exploration of self-medication, painted in the colors of war. Following the Ghosthouse 12", whose A-side Pitchfork called "their most relentless track yet," vocalist Michael Berdan and guitarist/producer Ben Greenberg return with a new batch of even more punishing tracks that incorporate elements of industrial music, thrash metal, harsh noise, and power electronics.
Uniform formed in New York City in 2013 when old friends Ben Greenberg (ex-The Men, Hubble, and the producer/engineer responsible for much of the Sacred Bones catalog) and Michael Berdan (ex-Drunkdriver, York Factory Complaint) reconnected and realized that they had evolved to a similar place musically. Wanting as intimate an experience as possible, they decided to keep the project a two-man show, eschewing a live rhythm section for programmed drums and low-end synths, augmented with Greenberg playing guitar and Berdan handling vocals. The collaboration quickly yielded a raw 12", followed by a full-length, Perfect World. The Ghosthouse 12" is the first Uniform release on Sacred Bones Records, and it will be followed by a full-length in early 2017.
Ghosthouse shares a basic configuration with the previous Uniform releases, but the tools have evolved far beyond their initial drum machine and bass synth setup. These songs have grown from a broader palette of sounds - shots, explosions, implosions, impacts, ricochets, collapse; the sounds of conflict, war, and destruction that we witness every day. The result is the most sonically confrontational Uniform material to date, and Berdan's lyrics, largely inspired by his lifelong battle with insomnia and depression, match them for relentlessness.