Uniform
The Long Walk
Sacred Bones
★★★★

Uniform returns with an apocalyptic vision and a gruesome turmoil resides within The Long Walk. Somewhere between the Melvins and Jesus Lizard is bone-crushing doom noise and possibly the most poignant group of songs for the band yet. The album uncovers perceived evils of society nested within deeply-rooted world religion culture. They are experts at extrapolating the uneasiness of the context.

When you listen to instrumentalist Ben Greenburg’s guitars, it sounds like they set up their amps to full blast inside a sewer. The sonic levels on casual audio levels is scary. Add Liturgy and Z’s drummer, Greg Fox, and you can feel each and every one of his percussive concussions. Michael Berdan’s vocals round out the sound, incorporating insanity prose with an exorcism. Berdan knows how to scrape the chalkboard and make you feel uneasy.

Uniform – The Walk Music Video

The level of depravity on “Inhuman Condition” is comparable to Godflesh’s Street Cleaner. The feedback that follows the band’s low end fuzz are like shock waves that won’t let up. It sucks you into their Videodrome-esque dystopia marred by an industrial wasteland. The sound beats you down until your eardrums are a puddle of mush.

This process is mimicked on “The Walk.” Power chords halt to a crawl and then expanded to levels almost unbearable to handle. Taken from the Stephen King book of the same title, the song is the perfect representation for the aura of the rest of the album. In Berdan’s words:

“Over time I’ve come to view aspects of the book as loosely parallel to feelings I’ve had towards organized religion and capitalism, where for some people an unattainable ideal is set as an absolute. We allow ourselves to be broken under rigidly defined norms regarding traditional strata, where lack of compliance leads to ostracization and success as dictated by religious and economic rule often leads to the disintegration of one’s own hopes and dreams. As someone existing in late capitalism who sees beauty and personal empowerment in many of the basic tenants of all world religions, these are subjects that I wrestle with constantly.”

Uniform – Habit (one of the songs used in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks

It only took a few days to hash out the album in a studio. Compared to their previous efforts, this experience feels like the results of pent up aggression. The Long Walk is not an easy album to digest. If it was, then Uniform probably would say that you are listening to it wrong.

Categories: Reviews

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