Long Walk on a Short Pier will not win any awards for subtlety. On this inspired debut, October File provides a loud, harsh, abrasive and dissonant alternative rock/punk/hardcore assault -- one that gets in your face and does so without apology. The British band is certainly relevant to the hardcore scene, although October File aren't screamo any more than they are metalcore; rather, their hardcore moves are coming from more of a post-Black Flag, post-Fear, post-Dead Kennedys perspective. And there are also hints of industrial rock in some of their material; October File, like Ministry and many other industrial rockers, aren't afraid to use samples to their creative advantage. But Long Walk on a Short Pier isn't overly electronic-sounding, and most of the time, this is a very guitar-powered album. It's also a very angry album -- angry when it comes to politics, angry when it comes to romantic love. "God Hates America," a caustic political rant that would please Rage Against the Machine and Public Enemy, slams U.S. foreign policy without hesitation; the tune isn't attacking Americans in general, but it is definitely attacking American foreign policy in Latin America, the Middle East, and other parts of the world. And October File brings just as much passion to "Beautiful," which is about a guy screwing up a romantic relationship. One hears a variety of alt rock and punk influences on this album -- sometimes Killing Joke, sometimes Jello Biafra and the Dead Kennedys, sometimes Ministry -- and through it all, October File never fails to sound focused and passionate. Long Walk on a Short Pier isn't groundbreaking by 2004 standards, but it's definitely an inspired debut for these British agitators.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson