Review Of A Place To Bury Strangers “Worship”

Artist: A Place To Bury Strangers – Worship
Title: Worship
Record Label: Dead Oceans
Rating: 7.5

It’s appropriate when a band like A Place To Bury Strangers calls one of their records Exploding Head, as their audio output could quite easily make your cranium burst with their waves of unrelenting distortion and abrasive squeals of noise. To follow up their skull disintegrating second album is the NYC bands third record entitled Worship. There isn’t much of a departure in sound with Worship, the three piece helmed by Oliver Ackermann, are still content with reeling out swathes of uncompromising sonic malevolence.

What is telling about Worship is that when APTBS make their unholy racket, it either sounds like someone angrily attempting metalwork or a sea of bees being swatted by an electrified sledgehammer. For fans of the Brooklyn trio, the tinnitus inducing assault is still ever present but it’s when the band calm things down that they grab your attention. It’s quite a funny notion that when APTBS aren’t permanently damaging your hearing that you notice how subtle they can be. ‘Fear’ commences with an apocalyptic roar that slowly subsides to reveal a calmer and more considered sound. Sounding like an evil Joy Division, the trio could even be mistaken for creating something almost melodic. ‘Dissolved’ also comes from the less harsh end of the APTBS spectrum. The
shoegaze indebted track captures the band in a dream like state which morphs into something that The Cure would have been proud of in their heyday. For fans of the band, don’t worry, APTBS haven’t lost their edge either, countless tracks on Worship are migraine worthy and ‘Revenge’ pushes the band to the point of near collapse as the sheer avalanche of distortion could flatten buildings.

We already know Ackermann and his merry band of noiseniks can create a maelstrom of noise to scare parents and child alike, which makes the new serene edge something of a welcome surprise and helps added another dimension to their arsenal.

Worship won’t propel APTBS to the top of the music charts nor will it put them on teenager’s bedroom walls next to GaGa and Katy Perry but it does cement the band as being the champions of what they do best, unrelenting, punishing noise manipulators.

Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams

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