What if the antihero in your favourite film or book had no chance to repent, reconcile, or redeem himself? There’s no victim to rescue. There’s no evil to thwart. There’s 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 yesterday’s 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 industrialised mill of grating guitars, warped electronics, war-torn percussion, and demonically catchy vocalisations.
Today they hit us with the album’s massive opener “Delco” which fuses guttural distortion to haunting chants buttressed by muscular percussion. Short for ‘Delaware County,’ the track reflects on Berdan’s upbringing in a suburb west of Philadelphia and how beatings and bullying by the local hellraisers taught him how to keep his guard up and navigate a violent world.
Berdan reveals, “During my adolescence I would get routinely picked on and beat up by some of the kids in the neighbourhood who I desperately wanted to like me. The more beatings I caught, the more I’d go back to try and impress them. My self esteem was nonexistent and I developed psychological calluses. I learned to repeat some of the behaviours that had been leveled my way on those beneath me in the pecking order. In time, I became numb. Getting older and attempting to reconcile with personal demons surrounding depression, anxiety and substance abuse has forced me to take a long, hard look at my childhood. In the process I’ve realised to degrees just how I’ve perpetuated learned cycles of harm. A terrified part of me is still a little kid in Delco. This song is an exercise in trying to come to terms with these ghosts and let go. Some days are better than others.”