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Uniform: Shame Smoke Vinyl

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Artist: Uniform
Title: Shame Smoke Vinyl

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Uniform: Shame Smoke Vinyl
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Artist: Uniform
Title: Shame Smoke Vinyl

1. Product Details

What if the antihero in your favorite film or book had no chance to repent reconcile or redeem himself Theres no victim to rescue. Theres no evil to thwart. Theres no tyranny to turnover. Instead of saving the day against his better judgment he just walks a Sisyphean circle of existential malaise doomed to repeat yesterdays vices without the promise of a better tomorrow. Rather than tell this story on the screen or on the page Uniform tell it on their fourth full-length album Shame. The trio - Michael Berdan vocals Ben Greenberg guitar production and Mike Sharp drums - strain struggle through an industrialized mill of grating guitars warped electronics war-torn percussion and demonically catchy vocalizations. Thematically the album is like a classic hard-boiled paperback novel without a case says Berdan. It focuses on the static state of an antihero as he mulls over his life in the interim between major events just existing in the world. At the time we were making the record I was reading books by Raymond Chandler James Ellroy and Dashiell Hammet and strangely found myself identifying with the internal dialogues of characters like Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe. The lead-up to this moment proved just as intriguing as any of those characters exploits. Born in 2013 Uniform bulldozed a path to the forefront of underground music. Following Perfect World 2015 and Wake in Fright 2017 the groups third offering The Long Walk 2018 represented a critical high watermark. Pitchfork christened it their most unified-and most deranged-record to date and The Line of Best Fit crowned them vanguards within the genre. In addition to touring with the likes of Deafheaven and Boris they joined forces with The Body for a pair of collaborative albums - Mental Wounds Not Healing 2018 and Everything That Dies Someday Comes Back 2019 - as well as the live release Live at the End of the World 2020. When it came time to pen Shame Berdan made a conscious decision to include lyrics marking a first. I wanted my words to carry a degree of weight on this record he says. Books and cinema have always been integral to my life and that is often because of how I relate to the themes and characters therein. I am naturally shy and terrified of being misunderstood. This time around I endeavored to trudge through those fears in order to explicitly articulate what goes on in a dreary corner of my inner life. To put it plainly: I was in a dark place. It was the culmination of years of thinking everyone in the world was wrong but me. I realized that I couldnt control the attitudes and behaviors of other people but it was my responsibility to look inward and fix what was there. I had to articulate what was going on in my heart my head and my soul. As I set about the task of writing everything down I experienced exorcism. If I wanted any kind of reprieve I had to let go of the narrative that the demons in the back of my head had been constantly whispering to me. For years I held onto my lyrics like personal diary entries. Now is the time for a different approach. This record marks the debut of Mike Sharp on drums adding a natural fire to the engine. His presence grinds down their metallic industrial edge with a live percussive maelstrom. Once again Greenberg assumed production duties behind the board at Strange Weather. Building on the approach from their last LP the band perfected the powerful hybrid of digital and analog electronic and acoustic synthetic and actual that has become their hallmark. In another first Mixing duties were not handled by Greenberg but rather handed off to the inimitable Randall Dunn at his studio Circular Ruin. Of this decision Greenberg says On The Long Walk we took a big step in adding live drums and guitar amplifiers. It was a stylistic departure but it had actually been the plan for years we were just waiting for the right time to execute. The next logical step with Shame was to hand off the Mix phase of production. An alternate set of ears in the Mastering phase is crucial to gaining a wider perspective and creating a powerful end result I wanted to find a similar constructive collaboration but earlier in the process. Randall was the obvious choice he has long been a teacher and mentor to me Berdan Sharp and I have some all-time favorite records bearing his name. Randall and I have also worked in the control room together many times before - the Mandy OST and co-Producing the recent Algiers LP There Is No Year for example - so we already had an established workflow and shared aesthetics. The opener Delco fuses guttural distortion to haunting chants buttressed by muscular percussion. Short for Delaware County the track reflects on Berdans upbringing in a suburb west of Philadelphia and how beatings and bullying by these local hellraisers taught him how to keep his guard up and navigate a violent world. Elsewhere the jagged thrashing of Dispatches nods to Alan Moores Batman: The Killing Joke and how thin the margin between personal stability and total collapse is. Neck-snapping riffs kick Life in Remission into high gear as a spiteful scream spirals towards oblivion. The song is about people Ive been close to who passed away and how Ive become numb to death. A lot of these songs have to do with an internal dialogue and overwhelming sense of fear uselessness and dread constantly whispering at me Youre not good enough. Give up and join those youve seen disappear and die. The near eight-minute I Am The Cancer closes the record as Berdan adopts the perspective of The Judge from Cormac McCarthys Blood Meridian going so far as to crib his proclamation God is war war endures. In many ways the title track Shame cements the core of the album with unhinged instrumentation and a brutal bark. Its about self-medication not working anymore he admits. This person is so tortured by internal ghosts from the past. He winds up pouring alcohol on his grief and guilt until hes drowning. It was partially inspired by a Twilight Zone episode called Night of the Meek about a drunk helpless department store Santa Claus who wants to make a difference but feels incapable of doing so. That story has a happy ending. Well see about this one. It may not be pretty but Uniforms story is most definitely real. All I can say is Im glad this exists Berdan leaves off. It felt like something we needed to create. Just completing it is enough for me.

1.1 Delco
1.2 The Shadow of Gods Hand
1.3 Life in Remission
1.4 Shame
1.5 All Weve Ever Wanted
1.6 Dispatches from the Gutter
1.7 This Wont End Well
1.8 I Am the Cancer


H 0.15
W 11.65
L 12.08

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3. Return Policy

We offer a 30-day money back guarantee on all products purchased from Victrola.com. All items must be returned as new in their original packaging, including all accessories and cables. Missing items will be charged based on suggested retail prices. All returns must be accompanied by a valid return authorization number (RMA) issued by Victrola. If an RMA is not obtained prior to shipping, the returned product will be refused and returned to sender. Shipping cost is not refundable and returns must be shipped prepaid by the customer. There is a 15% restocking fee that will be calculated based on the price of the product once the item is refunded. 

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If you are unsatisfied with your purchase and the merchandise is unopened, we will be happy to exchange it for you. No refunds will be given on opened albums, unless damaged or defective. Original shipping and handling charges are not refundable, and you will be responsible for all costs associated with return shipment.

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