Tuesday, December 13, 2016

CD Review: UNIFORM CHOICE Screaming For Change (Reissue) (Southern Lord Recordings) by Dave Wolff

Screaming For Change (Reissue)
For as long as I’ve been in contact with Southern Lord Recordings I never expected them to re-release this gem from hardcore’s formative years. It came as an unexpected, welcome surprise to hear it’s to be released next month. I’ve been looking at their official site and they’re handling more hardcore bands next to doom and stoner metal bands, so there will likely be more announcements like this in 2017. It’s been a long time since I listened to Uniform Choice’s Screaming For Change in its entirety, and doing so brought me back to when I first heard it in 1988. The California band self-released it on Wishing Well in ‘86. This was the year I started attending hardcore shows and I was lucky enough to see them on stage as well. If you missed Screaming For Change the first time you can experience the passion that made U.C. a vital hardcore band next January. This was the band’s only hardcore album before they released Staring Into The Sun which sounded more like early alternative. Vocalist Pat Dubar (later vocalist for Mind Funk who included Louie Svitek of M.O.D./Ministry and Reed St. Mark of Celtic Frost) who approached Southern Lord to release Screaming For Change. After a string of unauthorized bootlegs he wanted to take it to a label that would do the album justice. Remastered by Brad Boatright who previously worked with High On Fire and Excel, this reissue far surpasses the original, augmenting their raw power and energy especially in the guitars. If you remember U.C. you probably remember a band called Minor Threat whose album Out Of Step was highly influential to them. Uniform Choice took Minor Threat’s punk elements, revamped them and pursued a similar straight-edge philosophy (no drugs or alcohol) in their lyrics. Only here there is no preaching or empty rhetoric about making the world a better place, but simply someone discussing his own experiences with life and how his choices have been beneficial to him personally. If you appreciate such subject matter, the lyrics in My Own Mind, Build To Break, Sometimes and In Time are as important as the music they’re set to. You can visit Southern Lord’s site for more information about the reissues and the packaging it’s intended to be released in. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Use Your Head
2. My Own Mind
3. Straight And Alert
4. Build To Break
5. Scream To Say
6. Once I Cry
7. Sometimes
8. Screaming For Change
9. No Thanks
10. A Choice
11. Big Man, Small Mind
12. Don't Quit
13. In Time
14. Silenced

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