Track Premiere: Simple Forms – “Unprecedented Uncertainty”

Photo by James Rexroad

For a track heavy on the “un” theme, we can add “unexpected,” as in, this tune from members of sludge metal quartet Norska and YOB bassist Aaron Rieseberg, is in a different musical realm than the members’ other bands. Simple Forms are a Portland, Oregon quintet—Aaron Rieseberg (bass), Dustin Rieseberg (guitar), Ben Stoller (drums/synth), Rob Shaffer (guitar) and Jason Oswald (vocals/keyboards)—that dabbles in dark sounds, but not the usual metallic fare. “Unprecedented Uncertainty” harks back to Seattle circa 1991, with its rumbling Soundgarden/Gruntruck rhythms, Alice in Chains vocal harmonies and late-’80s post-punk atmospherics. There’s even a bit of a modern-day Mastodon influence here, as well.

It’s a strong new track from a band whose only previous output was a 2022 EP. “Unprecedented Uncertainty” was recorded at Red Rockets Glare by Dominic Armstrong and Raymond Richards. It was mixed by Dominic Armstrong and mastered by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph. It’s currently available for purchase here.

Here’s what vocalist Jason Oswald had to say about the new single:

“Everyone brought something to the table with this one. The song changed shape many times. What came out was a disorienting and hypnotic melody that permeated a dark sense of paranoia. The lyrical content of ‘Unprecedented Uncertainty’ deals with the struggle of an artist to be understood by peers who may not share the same passion, while dealing with the self doubt and angst that comes along with that. There is a visual aspect as well: picture an artist painting their own life, as if they are hyper aware of the finite timeline we all must exist within.“