A Place to Bury Strangers
Released: Monday 25 June 2012
There is nowt wrong with mining the past. Let's be honest, you and I both would be lying if we said that there is anything completely avant-garde and original out there nowadays. No matter how derivative a band/artist is, it is down to them entirely to carve out their own niche, convince the listener of their relevance and, to put it bluntly, put their metaphoric balls on the line to shift units.
In the case of noise-rock New York Trio A Place to Bury Strangers, it's their distinct love of discordant guitar pedal abuse and sheet-metal, primitive, minimal drumming. Oh yeah, and a vocal drawl so slacker that it makes Alan Vega sound like Luciano Pavarotti. They pull from all the usual suspects: Jesus & Mary Chain primarily, but also My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth's anti-hero sounds.
Worship is the third album by the trio but don't expect a huge shift in their content. I mean, if it ain't broke why fix it? After all, it worked for the glorious Besnard Lakes. On this occasion, the band have done the whole album themselves from writing right through to mixing and production and while it's a lot more melancholy and restrained ('Dissolved') at times they still maintain an overall fat gut of visceral fluidity and looseness.
'You Are the One' pulsates with throbbing bass and smooth gliding synths with shades of Krautrock and wouldn't be out of place off any of the first three Jesus & Mary Chain long players. The guitars contort, twist and feedback to a huge crescendo of power as the layers of noise build and build at a bewildering pace and fade out to a blunt but surreal finale. 'Revenge' is just a stomp along of noises and incoherent barks from frontman Olive Ackerman with his stalking and sinister vocal delivery. Still, it's the standout track on this album and that's all you need to know really.
2012 has really needed this album. We've all got sick of singer-songwriters and their troubadour ways. Something has been needed to blow the cobwebs away and Worship is very much at the forefront of this much needed sea-change in music. Looking back to look forward is fine, but only if it's this good.