Perfect World is exhilarating and exhausting art that shrouds an exposed core with sonic brutality.
Keeping true to the promise of their name, the Brooklyn duo Uniform has chosen to make consistency central to their motif. When they began creating music together in the cracks of their busy schedules in 2013, neighbors Michael Berdan (York Factory Complaint, Drunkdriver, Believer/Law) and Ben Greenberg (the Men, Hubble, Pygmy Shrews) decided to approach lacking as a virtue and a challenge.
Uniform’s arsenal consists of a guitar scorched via “a cheap ’80s preamp marketed to metal kids”, an Akai XR20 drum machine, Berdan’s scowling vocals, and a mean synthesizer. Perfect World, the full length follow-up to their “Our Blood“/”Of Sound Mind and Body” 12” debut, builds its identity out of limitations at the same time as it sounds strongly influenced by past artists who demolished their own. Over its six tracks, the album takes Throbbing Gristle’s abrasiveness, throws it in a pressure cooker with the cold, old-tech repetition of the Normal, and then slices through it all with lashing guitar distortion.
Until his relatively straightforward spoken delivery on the gloomy comedown, “Learning to Forget”, Berdan’s pained exclamations range from loud and clear (“I curse the ground you walk on”, in the title track), to somewhat decipherable (much of the record), to sounding like he’s having his toenails pulled off at the start of “Buyer’s Remorse”. The album’s few elements shape-shift and diverge admirably enough, but rarely do they ever let up. Perfect World is exhilarating and exhausting art that shrouds an exposed core with sonic brutality.