Uniform Choice

Picture of Uniform Choice

Staring Into the Sun

Uniform Choice - Staring Into the Sun ©1988 Giant
1. Indian Eyes
2. Same Train
3. Staring Into the Sun
4. A Wish to Dream
5. She's Locked In
6. Region of Ice
7. Cut of a Different Cause
8. Miles Ahead
9. What is Stone
10. Long Drink of Silence
11. I am...You Are
12. Once I cry

Uniform Choice started out as a straight edge hardcore band with the same subtle touches as a gorilla pounding its chest (though that might not be fair to gorillas). The band's earliest efforts were blunt instruments of hardcore rage and lacked a whole lot of dynamics. Naturally, their debut LP Screaming For Change is considered their classic effort. But after that release, Uniform Choice underwent the 7 Seconds Sophistication Syndrome and moved towards a much more melodic rock style that retained only hints of their original fury and bluster.

A few years later, when singer Pat Dubar joined the alternative metal "supergroup" Mind Funk, either he or one of his bandmates stated in an interview that as time went on it became evident his vocal talents were developing far beyond the hardcore roots of his Uniform Choice bandmates. Staring Into the Sun seems to be an acknowledgement of Dubar's strong voice. The resulting record is somewhat mixed in results, with a handful of really good songs standing alongside some underbaked efforts. Dubar certainly is the focal point of the album, featuring good melodies and showcasing his burgeoning abilities. But it is also very evident that there are times where his bandmates simply can't provide a deep enough musical backdrop for the songs. The rhythm section is a bit clumsy and the guitars often seem unable to expand upon initial riff ideas. That said, Uniform Choice still knocks a few of these tunes out of the park: "Indian Eyes", "Long Drink of Silence", Cut of a Different Cause" and "Miles Ahead" are all quite enjoyable.

The most positive thing about Staring Into the Sun is that it does not come across as a record attempting to bridge into the mainstream rock world, but an honest attempt to write songs based around Pat Dubar's improved singing voice. Uniform Choice may not quite have had the overall skillset to elevate the songwriting as much as they might have liked, but in general the album sounds genuine and not forced. Maybe straight edge kids were confused by this release, but for a more general rock audience there's actually enough decent tunes to warrant a recommendation.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/2010

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