A Place To Bury Strangers - Worship
By: Rob Gannon
A Place To Bury Strangers are now six years into their career at the forefront of commercial noise. They’ve been epic. They’ve been weapons-grade loud and, thanks to Oliver Ackermann‘s obsessional building of bespoke pedals, they’ve been unique. Worship is the band’s third LP and, interestingly, it presents a sonic shift for the three-piece – and one not at all evident from this year’s earlier Onwards To The Wall EP.
Those primal groans of shoegaze remain present and correct in “Dissolved” for example, but it’s the track’s dreamy atmosphere and jangling guitar line that intrigue most, combining to form a sort of industrial bliss. Despite giving a paint-stripping strain of feedback license to roam, “And I’m Up” is also more heaven than hell – more “Just Like Honey” than “Upside Down” if you will.
Then there’s “Fear”, which again does course with trademark distortion, but it’s very much APTBS at their most accessible all the same. The resultant stadium-sized sound even sails close to Goth, bringing to mind The Horrors past, present and from some dystopian future in which collapsing buildings accompany their every move. Following the pattern, “You Are The One” is less intense still until it throws up a firefight of caustic electrical arcs and marauding guitar lines.
APTBS aren’t capable of disappointing and none of these tracks do, yet there are also a couple of others that entirely lack the welcome challenge of yesteryear. Happily, however, the remainder of Worship is reassuringly punishing. Order is duly restored for the crushing and frantic “Why I Can’t Cry Anymore”, as well as with the outright aural assault of “Revenge”.
Sounding like it was mastered in a warzone, “Alone” too makes the most of the self-controlled recording process, snagging the listener with its strong melody nevertheless. And “Mind Control” is nothing save glorious pop-noise with Ackermann’s spoken vocal echoed out to match the choppy guitar effects and sinister bassline.
APTBS have been many things since they exploded into being and consistent was always one of them. Worship is a little patchy truth be told, but it’s still one of the most vital and exciting statements you’ll hear this year.
Advised downloads: “Mind Control” and “Revenge”.
Worship is released on the 11th June 2012 on Dead Oceans.