Nice to see people using Bob Daisley lyrics as album titles. This doesn’t happen enough for my liking.
Clearly, industrial punks Uniform and everyone’s favourite collaborators The Body recognise genius when they see it.
Hence why they chose to work with each other, and produce one of the finest releases this year.
‘Dead River’ is exactly what you’d expect a collaboration between these two bands to sound like.
It’s a moody number, with primitive drum programming, digital distortion, heavily buried vocals and feedback. A swamp of unpleasantness that exudes a sinister atmosphere, like a soundtrack for a Cormac McCarthy novel as directed by Lucio Fulci.
We get the first “proper” song with ‘The Curse of Eternal Life.’
Reminiscent of Metal Urbain, it’s a driving guitar number where the guitar is turned into mush (in the best way possible) through the digital distortion, and the vocals are chopped up, hollow sounding as they shout and howl from, what sounds like, another dimension.
Around the halfway mark, the bass is brought into the mix, and the drums turn jungle on us. Nearly drowning out the vocals, they provide a schizophrenic listen. A very exhilarating schizophrenic listen, that is.
‘Come and See’ is a doom song very much in the mould of Khost.
A teeth grindingly slow, noisy and warped song, it is brimming with atmosphere (you envisage being lost in a forest while this soundtracks your attempts to find your way out) and is a punishing listen. But, when listened to from beginning to end, you will feel like you’ve been on a journey.
‘The Boy with Death in his Eyes’ starts off threatening to be an alternative floor filler before engulfing the listener in power chords and vocals that override the drums in the mix. It’s a direct attack, the vocals are (slightly) more audible and not chopped up.
If any other band recorded a number like this, it would be dismissed as a bad sounding demo. Possibly the only song that sounds like it could have fitted onto Uniform’s last LP.
Nicking the drum pattern of ‘When the Levee Breaks’ isn’t the only reason ‘In My Skin’ is such a successful number.
The awkward guitar line which sounds joyous despite the overawing power of the noise. The synth break in the middle acts as a great respite before going back to proceedings, but with howls instead of vocals.
More schizophrenic listening.
A three minute odd interlude in the shape of ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ sets us up nicely for closer ‘Empty Comforts.’
A pulsating electro number, it goes back to terrain similar to ‘Come and See’ but sounds like there’s some light at the end of the tunnel due to the build in the vocals towards the end.
Points are deducted for the cover, which is shite. While I’m sure some will find a charm to it, it looks like some indie kid’s attempt at a camp horrorcore cover.
Nonetheless, this album is excellent. While it is what you’d expect from such people, the fact that it’s utterly brilliant is quite the bonus.
Bob Daisley rules. And so do Uniform and The Body.
4.5 / 5 –Christopher Owens ::: 26/05/18