A Place To Bury Strangers - Pinned - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

A Place To Bury Strangers - Pinned

by Jack Kiser Rating:7 Release Date:2018-04-13
A Place To Bury Strangers - Pinned
A Place To Bury Strangers - Pinned

Brooklyn noise trio, A Place to Bury Strangers, encapsulate the squeamish feeling of just waking up from a nightmare. Their consistent continuation of the progression in the noise rock genre is hard to be overlooked. For many, the genre is just as what you might expect, noise and unidentifiable chorus. However, the complexion and sheer calamity have only since increased from the pioneering CBGB days. I am talking long past the days of industrial rock experimenters like Suicide and Sonic Youth, to a place where all elements of bludgeoning melodies and machinery driven percussion are even more amplified. APTBS has always offered the listeners a relentless instrumental buildup that has ceased to infatuate, however, Pinned offers a murkier train of expectation.

As I mentioned before, the roots of the noise rock genre are as heavy as the feedback on a Jesus Lizard live record. The genre is undoubtedly not for those with a light attention span or have the eagerness to wander off. It requires astuteness and desire to explore through volatile soundwaves. APTBS captured the shell-shocked ears of listeners early, coming right out of the gate in 2007 with their self-titled debut via Killer Pimp. Now, they have chomped away at nearly 3 additional projects with two different labels since their menacing start a decade ago. Claiming their spot on the Dead Oceans roster early, they have offered a refreshing, yet suffocating semblance through the grenade laden battleground of noise.

Pinned appears to be getting a bad rap from many critics, being solely classified as a whirlpool of unorganized spurts of instrumental chaos. But, isn’t that what you expect from a trio like APTBS? This record, more than the last, incorporates massive flare from Goth, 90’s post-punk, and shoegaze elements. Even darkwave characteristics from the likes of The Soft Moon and the KVB make staunch appearances throughout the record. Track by track, the importance of fresh add, Lia Braswell, has become vital for the band’s palpitated heartbeat. While her percussion work is important, her haunting background vocals are what stand out the most. Leading single “Never Coming Back” puts anarchic feedback laced guitar over the drifting voice of Braswell. “Execution” then transitions into a buzzing two minute frenzy of electronica and lip busting bass licks. Some of the shorter tracks like “Frustrated Operator” and “Act Your Age” provide a sense of relief, establishing some traditional song groundwork after long periods of quizzical anticipation. However, with strides of brilliance, “There is Only One of Us” and “Was it Electric” seem to flat line throughout this bloodshot staring contest. Alas, the ending threw me for a curveball, as I thought the beginning beat was about to lead into a “Safety Dance”-esque song. Well, sorta. The drum machine is mechanically nostalgic to early 2000’s industrial, offering an uplifting end to this fifth project.

This album, at times, is difficult to determine where it starts and where it ends. It is easy to get lost in this gloomy enterprise, barely shedding any light as to where entered. The end goal for this trio was to dig deep and continue to progress. While there are many evident examples of this, the sheer sensory overload are proven to be too much at times. I think many cynics, including myself, will reverse their opinion after a live performance.

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