A Place to Bury Strangers are a power trio with a heavy, atmospheric wall of sound-influenced blend of psychedelic rock, shoegaze and space rock. They have been affectionately lauded as New York City’s “loudest band” by various indie reviewers and bloggers throughout the course of their live music career, as well as “the most ear-shatteringly loud garage/shoegaze band you’ll ever hear” by The Washington Post. The New York Times applauded their revival of “the ominous, feedback-drenched drones of the 1980s”
Onwards to the Wall is a brief, visceral 16-minute noise jam. APTBS have carved a commendable name for themselves in the abrasive rock scene alongside contemporaries HEALTH and The Horrors, they certainly prove here that they haven’t run out of ideas yet.
“I Lost You” features crushing reverb, relentless echoes, and breakbeat drum work, as Oliver Ackermann sounds morose as ever. Ackermann also contributed to the creation of the video for So Far Away, a bass-driven, claustrophobic march given added humanity with playful, off-the-cuff visuals.
The title track’s female vocals add a much-needed dynamic to the APTBS formula, and with melodic, spindly guitar riffs and a catchy motorik/post-punk beat. “Nothing Will Surprise Me” is one of the band’s fastest tracks, while “Drill It Up” is danceable, with a chorus begging to have crowds respond to Ackermann’s tortured calls.
With moments of breathing room and stripped melodies, APTBS continue subtle explorations of their strengths and the conflict between cacophony and harmony.