Uniform’s The Long Walk, out now via Sacred Bones Records, is a punch in the gut of an album that’s still somehow at the same time incredibly inviting. The seething mixture of industrial and noise-driven musical fury has edges that you might not have even known music can have, metaphorically ripping the listener apart. The eight tracks are like eight creatures of the night that, when released, claw and tear at the edge of your psyche, demanding to flip the switch that turns on your energy and pushes you along the path the album takes.
At times, releasing the pent up energy and pressure inside can accomplish a lot more than reinforcing the barricades.
To say that The Long Walk represents the release of some pent up pressure would be an understatement, though, that hardly encapsulates the whole work. Cliches aren’t applicable.
Like a sentient robot rebelling against its masters, or the quintessential rebel figure from culturally popular stories, the album thrashes violently against the confines of the position it’s found itself in upon its birth/creation/awakening. The all-encompassingly furious record redefines musical parameters, what it means to be a music listener, and, by extension, the available parameters for our paths on this earth. That redefinition keeps music going elsewhere across albums, genres, and so on, but here, it’s blatantly obvious.
Heaven help you, though, if you decide to dismiss The Long Walk as an avant-garde or modern art fantasy. The tracks maintain their substantive musical footing almost just to prove that they can. There’s no crippling allegiance to pre-existing musical parameters; there’s just a rebellious and dark effectiveness. The songs, even if furious, do not lose their identity at all.
There are lots of songs that sound angry. There are far more to these songs, though, relaying a pulsating, at times furious, array of extreme human emotions, and getting, through the music, to the realm where it becomes difficult to translate those emotions into words.
If you’re an open-minded music listener and willing to give an artist a few plays before cracking the surface of their work, just go turn on The Long Walk.