|A Place to Bury Strangers have just released their third full-length, titled Worship (Dead Oceans), and I presume the title refers to the band "worshipping" at the alter of their influences because this is derivative noise-rock/shoegaze drivel. No Wave/Goth vocals, Albini scum guitar skronk, and relentlessly monotonous drumming, A Place to Bury Strangers' reverberating bleakness is so boring I fell asleep while the album oozed along.
Oliver Ackermann (guitar/vocals), Dion Lunadon (bass), and Jay Space (drums) took the work of recording into their own hands, literally. Lunadon says of the bludgeoning tones on the album, "Every sound on the album is made by us and our tools; tools created by us, used on no other recordings, and purposefully built for this project." Well, that's just wonderful Mr. Lunadon, but instead of wiring gadgets, maybe you guys could have written some good songs. To be fair the guitars do sound incredible. They're loud and spiky and sometimes otherworldly, but they only service their own glory instead of contributing to the song's impact. The singing means absolutely nothing on this album. The song "Slide" is an utter snore for instance. It's obsessed with the crystalline chime of the riff to the detriment of the rest of the song. "Dissolved" is bad Ian Curtis fanboy singing. Most of the tunes on this record make me think similar thoughts; they focus on excavating tonalities instead of marrying electronics with vision. This is a drag.
"Fear" and the title track have more gravitas and succeed where most of the album fails. "Fear" in particular is the one piece of music on this set that grabs my attention. Its surf-rock drumming is buried under an oppressive vocal that feeds off the tension of volume dynamics, so when it explodes, my ears perk up. Overall, I would rather listen to Jesus Lizard.
I kind of liked the Onwards to the Wall EP from earlier this year however so maybe it's my attention span that's clouding my impressions. APTBS sound like way too many other groups from the past and they waste the duration of a full-length tinkering with toys instead of writing memorable songs. For me the only great thing about this group is the guitar noise...which kills. I would recommend catching A Place to Bury Strangers live though, because the sheer volume and hugeness of the sound would be a worthwhile assault.
Do you agree with this review? Leave your Worship review belowAlso try:
VIDEO: A Place To Bury Strangers - “You Are The One”
STREAM: A Place to Bury Strangers - “And I'm Up” (stream)
MP3: A Place To Bury Strangers - "You Are The One"