The Long Walk is Uniform’s second or third LP for Sacred Bones depending on whether you’re counting the collaborative record they made with The Body. However, don’t try and crunch the numbers while you’re actually listening to this thing. The pair make such a racket that it’s pretty much impossible to concentrate on anything else. File next to The Soft Moon and Blanck Mass.
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Isn’t this just what we all want: a band that starts promising, gets big ideas and grows into what they were supposed to be. This avant-hardcore two piece called Uniform, this little band that loudly could: after the success of breakout record ‘Wake In Fright’, whose war-torn punk songs graced David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, they’ve collaborated with the Body (a band testing out their own deconstructions on metal) and now return inspired, bringing us ‘The Long Walk’, a record of murky matrix noise. It seems to firm up their sound in the debris of it all.
Uniform are usually a duo -- Michael Bredan shouts and scowls like their dystopian preacherman, and Ben Greenberg provides broken textures through instrumentation and electronics. On ‘The Long Walk’, they’ve evolved into what might resemble a band, if you squint at it, with seismic-force-for-hire Greg Fox providing drums for a more visceral, of-the-moment sound. His drumming adds a sort of metallic twang to the whole thing, offsetting the cyberpunk atmospherics and endlessly churning guitars of Greenberg; it's earthier, from just one corner. Rather than the reverse-engineering of the past, Greenberg plays his instruments fast and intuitively, creating repetitive, numbing, way-overblown guitars and synths that sound like they just had to happen then, there.
And it works: it’s probably the harshest record they’ve ever made, but it grooves and diverts in captivating ways. Picking up some doomier inclinations, they make tunes like “Alone in the Dark”, where feedbacking guitars take the limelight, slowly and solidly lamenting as Fox’s drums thrash down. Mixed in with their fast, grittily recorded punk rock, the record becomes a lowly place where nothing can be made out but the catalysing chaos. Their harshest, yes, but also their best.
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