[sic] Magazine

A Place To Bury Strangers – Onwards To The Wall EP

Parents – who’d have ‘em?! As we all know everyone does, and bands are sometimes no different. It seems there are family trees everywhere you look. Take the recently reformed, critically acclaimed At The Drive-In and its manic progeny Mars Volta and the indifferent Sparta . Here, the as-yet-not-regrouped Skywave became the critically acclaimed A Place To Bury Strangers (APTBS) and the only-slightly-less-so Ceremony – a fine genealogical progression you’ll no doubt agree.

Truth be told, the “loudest band in New York™” were already well on the way to being one its best even before letting fly the strong Onwards To The Wall EP. Clearly dissatisfied with their weapons-grade debut LP and its follow-up’s exercise in pedal torture, Onwards To The Wall goes one step further – the band producing, mixing and mastering the overloaded release themselves, striving to further continue their proud history.

Founder APTBStranger Oliver Ackermann has always had a unique sound in mind, combining his own-brand FX pedals into walls of turbocharged static, but equally have the band (now joined by The D4 bassist Dion Lunadon ) a collective taste for the noise-led hook. As such, on the squalling opener, Ackermann’s morose vocal drifts through fast and loose bass-work, industrial siren-drone and a stuttering drum pattern, the track’s intensity frequently doubled with barbed guitar lines and distorted surges.

The gloom partially clears for “So Far Away”, which otherwise bubbles with shards of post-punk and deep washes of black psyche. The title track then steers the EP back towards familiar Jesus & Mary Chain territory as determined guitar progressions tremble with frayed feedback and a threateningly seductive male-female repartee dominates.

Again chucking in the no-wave theatrics and that cavernous vocal trick, “Nothing Will Surprise Me”, perhaps ironically, is surprising in such company only for the recurrent beauty that courses through its vitals. Upping the tempo significantly, “Drill It Up” brings down the curtain with raw guitar graunches and aggressive bass chops tailor made for the famed APTBS dystopian strobe-show.

The APTBS pedigree is unquestionable, their back-catalogue near impeccable. No-one currently does this sort of thing as well as them and those that try are invariably referenced back to Ackermann and his cohorts. The next level of this family tree is going to be a large one as stud duty must now surely beckon.

Advised downloads: “I Lost You” and “Onwards To The Wall”.

~Onwards To The Wall is released February 7th 2012 on Dead Oceans .~

[sic] review: A Place To Bury Strangers – Exploding Head

A Place To Bury Strangers @ myspace