Review : A Place To Bury Strangers - Worship
Best fitFirst things first: for some bands, volume is everything. Just three short years ago, this hack caught one of A Place To Bury Strangers’ live shows, and incredible as it was, frankly I’m lucky that my ears still work at all. There comes a point when things cease to be mere “loud music” and turn into incapacitating torrents of dense, scarcely comprehensible sound. It’s so physically and mentally draining that you’re practically swimming to stay afloat amidst the crashing waves, almost tangible as they seem to be. And you betcha fucking life it’s exhilarating, so it’s no coincidence that the band’s records are similarly noisy. There’s an interesting question to be raised about this: why blow your audience’s ears out if you want them to carry on listening? Hey, Kevin Shields, J Mascis – any answers? No? Okay then, let’s see if APTBS’ third album Worship gives us any clues....full text
The MusicThe band hasn’t foregone the noise however – far from it. This is likely to be one of the loudest records released this year. You Are The One starts like a gothic pop tune, opting for a brooding atmosphere and creeping bass before all hell breaks loose, Ackerman’s hushed vocals proving to be a menacing counterpoint to the sonic maelstrom. In fact his vocals prove to be an effective weapon in itself – when he murmurs “either way I choose/the choice is wrong”, the torment and gnashing of teeth are palpable. The pounding bass and industrial guitar distortion remain well and truly at the forefront of their sound – Mind Control threatens to blow up the speakers, just so that Revenge can finish off the job – but there is nuance here, like the moody, reverb-drenched Fear, the noirish sweetness of And I’m Up or the shimmering wall of guitar and incessant motorik drumming on Dissolved. The space allowed on the cavernous, Cure-baiting Slide helps to intensify the claustrophobia on tracks like Leaving Tomorrow, ensuring that any relief from the onslaught is fleeting....full text
Music OMHThings have changed somewhat for A Place To Bury Strangers since 2009’s Exploding Head. There’s no denying that Worship is still a ridiculously loud album, but unlike their previous work this is an exercise in controlled aggression. Alone opens the album in hostile fashion. It’s an abrasive and dark introduction, yet it points to a band refining their attack considerably. There are still waves of unpleasant distortion ebbing and flowing, but it’s the robotic feel that’s been adopted that cuts to the bone. Drum wise, APTBS sound as if they’ve kidnapped Big Black’s Roland (yes, we’re aware that Roland is a drum machine) whilst new bassist Dion Lunadon lays down some bone rattling backbone. Oliver Ackermann’s guitars meanwhile are just as abrasive as anything Albini ever played, but they’re more controlled than anything APTBS have done previously. ...full text
NuvoIt has been three years since the release of a full length album by "The loudest band in New York," A Place To Bury Strangers, and Worship continues their dark and noisy approach to songwriting. It would be too easy and lazy for any music critic to write the band off as another Jesus and Mary Chain knock-off without mentioning the great atmospheric feedback and sonic wall of stomp box glory that drenches each track on the album.
Lead singer and guitarist, Oliver Ackermann, owns and builds his own effects through his Brooklyn based pedal company, Death By Audio. Worship could very well be a magnificent demonstration of his latest pedal engineering....full text
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