A Place To Bury Strangers
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A Place To Bury Strangers

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Band Alternative Rock

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Sep
28
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Brooklyn, New York, USA

Brooklyn, New York, USA

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This three-piece are famous for playing so loud that kids often go deaf for weeks after attending one of their shows. With a punk DIY attitude and thunderous live show, they have created a sound that B.R.M.C. wish they could achieve. For fans of Jesus and The Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, and Ride.
- Crashin In - Lio Cerezo


To Fix the Gash in Your Head is fucking breath-taking. An overwhelming blanket of noise, utilizing feedback as melodic music, and above all, using that noise and screeching to compliment pop songs.
- Tripwire.com


Easily the most thunderous band going in NYC, there is something about music this complex and this menacingly driving played as such a high volume that taps into something in my subconscious.
- Jenyk.com - Jasper Coolidge


8.4

Never underestimate the power of the perfect guitar effects unit. The Jesus and Mary Chain's landmark Psychocandy would have sounded vastly less godlike without its use of a discontinued (and allegedly broken) Japanese fuzz pedal. Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis dredged his mythic decibel levels from road-worn Marshall amps, but his stoner racket wouldn't have been the same if he hadn't funneled it through the grinding fury of a Big Muff. In the right hands, one little black box can mean the difference between pummeling and decimating.

Few people understand this better than Oliver Ackermann, frontman for thunderous Brooklyn three-piece A Place to Bury Strangers: Under his catch-all company name Death by Audio (it's also a music venue, recording studio, and collective), he custom-builds and designs his own hand-wired pedals, which are used by everyone from Lightning Bolt and Serena Maneesh to Wilco, Spoon, and TV on the Radio. Not coincidentally, anyone looking for a quick description of his own band can look to the names he gives these things: Interstellar Overdriver, Supersonic Fuzz Gun, Total Sonic Annihilation.

With a bandname that's linked to both the Gospel of Matthew and the writings of British occultist Aleister Crowley, A Place to Bury Strangers represents something of a second coming for Ackermann. He was previously a member of defunct Fredericksburg, Va., dream-pop revivalists Skywave, whose records were all but baptized in the drones of (don't jump out of your checkered Vans!) the JAMC and My Bloody Valentine. After their breakup, Skywave's remaining members formed the like-minded two-piece Ceremony, and Ackermann moved to New York where he hooked up with drummer Jay Space and bassist Jono Mofo, turned up the volume, and began masterminding the wrecking-crew colossus that would become this album.

Compiling mastered versions of the band's early CD-Rs and mp3s, A Place to Bury Strangers' self-titled debut LP sets tinnitus-inducing noise-pop against a tension-wracked Joy Division-meets-Ministry backdrop. Plenty of bands have tapped the trebly, ecstatic side of shoegaze in recent years, but none have imbued it with this band's frustrated aggression or lacerating feedback.

What hits first is the reverberating distortion: The brutal textures announce themselves in pangs of blown-out guitar, crunching against the propulsive bassline and distant, static-soaked drums of opening track "Missing You". Thirty seconds in, the tempest recedes, revealing the song's love-wasted verses and murky, chiming guitars (think the Chills' "Pink Frost" and you're close), only to sneak up again for a shattered, metal-twisting chorus. The group's versatile squall can crumble majestically, as on the slow-motion starfighter explosions of "The Falling Sun", or growl like a wounded mountain lion, as during the pitch-shifting tumult of "My Weakness". And on "To Fix the Gash in Your Head", it even evokes the late-80s peak of Wax Trax! industrial bands, fleshed out by treble-heavy synth, buzzsaw guitars, and primitive, pre-programmed drum loops.

For a dude creating such awesome bedlam, Ackermann's uneven monotone comes off Ian Curtis-bummed. The hammering, Factory Records-esque beats and blistering effects-pedal descent of "She Dies" take place on a "white-letter day" ("There's nothing for me now," Ackermann wearily intones). Finale "Ocean" barely glimpses its bassline's steady shore through waves of resigned heartbreak. But the epic atmospheres are rarely as dense as I might be letting on. What matters most is the substance behind the style, and here, even morose falling-out songs like "Another Step Away" are saturated with slender indie-pop melody, notwithstanding the occasional weak lyric about how there's "no photograph that can capture who you are" (totally rhymes with "shooting star").

A Place to Bury Strangers can pull beauty out of eardrum-puncturing bleakness, but the most tuneful offering here, "Don't Think Lover", is gentle and romantic-- when not exploding at the seams. "Don't think lover/ Love lasts forever," Ackermann sings, and it's never quite clear whether the sentiment is optimistic or misanthropic. The stalking "I Know I'll See You" seems to play off the know-my-love-too-well urgency of the Smiths' "Hand in Glove", with Ackermann even warning, "Don't take my hand/ 'Cause I'll take it away." Like the Italians Do It Better label's similarly moody After Dark compilation, A Place to Bury Strangers may not be easy for would-be record buyers to find-- it's currently limited to 500 copies and put out by, um, Killer Pimp Records-- but it's worth every effort.

-Marc Hogan, August 31, 2007
- Pitchfork


Various bands throughout the past 20 years have made their own cases for being the loudest in rock `n' roll. Most thirty-somethings who were young enough to catch them in their heyday will tell you that Dinosaur Jr. is the loudest band in the land, though their reunion removes any doubt about that noise's sustainability. Mogwai have also been touted as the loudest, their wide-swinging volume dynamics having caused a few hearts to skip a beat due to the excessive force being thrust from their Marshall stacks. A friend of mine said the loudest band he'd ever seen was Shellac, who he described as being `louder than God.' And the loudest band I recall seeing is Kansas City's The Life and Times, who, for three guys in a tiny room, left their audience with a lingering case of tinnitus. New York's A Place to Bury Strangers has been touted as the loudest band in their home city, which may be a less overtly boastful claim. Considering that New York City is home to Helmet, Sonic Youth, Unsane and Anthrax, however, they clearly have to be making some unholy din.

While I haven't seen (or heard) them live, A Place to Bury Strangers is most certainly ungodly loud on record. It's best to prepare yourself before pressing play on this oneā€”the shock of the clatter being shot from your speakers is bound to knock you out of your seat. The buzzing, metallic clash of guitar fuzz that opens "Missing You," atop a super-cool Jesus & Mary Chain style bassline, is one hell of an opening noise, but one that deserves being played over and over again as your ears begin to heal themselves from the initial shock. Before long the track becomes a trippy, psychedelic melody that's as pretty and melancholy as it is muscular and unsettling. On "Don't Think Lover," the fuzz becomes so thick, the intro melody is almost undetectable, but like pupils dilating in a dark room, the eardrum begins to find a sort of structure among the chaos, and in time it becomes a simple, yet destructive groove.

On "To Fix The Gash in Your Head," one of the greatest titles I've heard all year, drum machines propel a Big Black-like machinepunk track, among the catchiest here, but still mercilessly brutal. Yet "The Falling Sun" provides a decidedly different experience altogether. It's still harshly distorted, static and feedback bathing every effects-laden note, yet it's a tender ballad, somber and trippy, and beautiful in a very unconventional way. "Another Step Away" is more closely aligned with Psychocandy's Phil Spector in Hell sound, while "Breathe," still distorted, takes a turn toward clarity with a melody that's allowed some, wait for it, breathing room.

There are no two songs on this album that sound alike, though all share the common characteristic of glass-shattering, pacemaker stopping noise. A Place to Bury Strangers may very well be the loudest band in NYC, but they're much more than that. They don't just use noise because they can; noise is merely a vessel through which this band creates thoroughly amazing music. By relying heavily upon something quite ugly, they create something beautiful.

Similar Albums:
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Psychocandy
Big Black - Songs About Fucking
Deerhunter - Fluorescent Grey

MP3: "To Fix the Gash In Your Head"

Jeff Terich
09.17.2007

http://treblezine.com/reviews/2276-A_Place_to_Bury_Strangers_A_Place_to_Bury_Strangers.html - Treblezine


Strap yourself in for a blissful and deafening return to the saturated shoe-gazer sound of the early nineties
Tired of slick and hyper-polished bands pumping out studio-perfect indie-pop? Yeah, me too. Which is why I think A Place To Bury Strangers could be the best thing to come out of New York for a number of years. If you want to get an idea of where A Place To Bury Strangers are coming from, sonically, you're going to need to eject over a decade's worth of preconceptions from your brain. Then turn your stereo up as loud as it goes, sit back in a comfortable chair, and hit play on your remote. And then drown. Drown in an ocean of super-saturated fuzz, a vast dense barrage of tone that fills the room and washes out into the street beyond. A Place To Bury Strangers have been tagged as "the loudest band in New York", and listening to these ten lo-fi tracks, you can well believe it. Brian Eno once described overdriven guitar as "the sound of an instrument trying to escape its recording medium", and that's exactly what you've got happening here. This band play loud because you can't make sounds like this any other way; this is the sound of amplifiers running right up against the limits of their design specifications, straining to deliver the sound of guitar and bass running through custom-built effects pedals. It's vast. It's deafening. It's beautiful. Oh yes, it's beautiful - because the noise levels have accreted over the sort of delicately melancholic shoe-gazing songs that ruled the UK indie scene of the very early nineties. It's the age-old musical game of contrasts - the huge sound balancing the delicacy and pathos of the songs themselves. The lyrics and melodies are like delicate little ornaments, packed in the cotton wool and fibreglass of the instrumentation to protect them from the world outside. It's the sort of music you can get lost in. Of course, not everyone likes getting lost. My response to that would be that to truly explore the world, you must put yourself in places where you're not sure which way to turn ... but, you know, whatever. If you want to stick to well-mapped territories, that's fine with me. That just leaves me more room to wander in the awesome landscapes of bands like A Place To Bury Strangers. But mark my words - there'll be a land-rush on this currently obscure little continent within the next few years. Do yourself a favour - come and explore before the day-tripper tourists start littering the place up. - Paul Raven, - Subba Cultcha


New York trio A Place to Bury Strangers has a well-earned reputation as one of the Big Apple's -- and the country's -- loudest bands. But it's not just noise for the sake of noise. Taking cues from the Jesus and Mary Chain, Spacemen 3 and MC5, the group offers up a killer mix of space, garage and noise rock. The guitars are sharp and piercing, the bass is throbbing, the drums are pounding and it adds up to a truly memorable rock-and-roll experience. The band's show last year at the Warehouse Next Door was a revelation, a jolting performance that was one of David's favorite of the few hundred he witnessed last year. - The Washington Post


A Place to Bury Strangers absolutely drowns the listener in a type of static-like distortion that is practically always making its presence known. It.s definitely of the blistering white hot variety, simply being relentless. All the while underneath it all is the often distant and monotone vocals of Oliver Ackermann, whom also creates his very own guitar pedals to help further manipulate the bands sound into being something that will naturally destroy ear drums if listened to at a high enough volume. I.m led to assume that it wouldn.t have to be all that high really. But anyway, for those that enjoy their fair share of noise-pop or shoegaze on an ultra high Mary Chain kick, then definitely check out A Place to Bury Strangers. - Built On A Weak Spot


Hailing from New York City, A Place to Bury Strangers are explosively sonic post-punk/shoegaze outfit often deemed "the Loudest Band in NYC." Rather than being loud for the sake of being loud, the band combines the coarse sonic textures of both the shoegaze and no-wave movement with the craft and beauty of dreampop, a delicate yet perfect balance that is far more moving than it is unsettling. The origins of the band trace back to Virginia's Skywave, a similarly styled outfit featuring fuzzed out guitar tones and abrasive drum machines. Guitarist Oliver Ackermann relocated to NYC and took the helm of a A Place to Bury Strangers, expanding on the already jagged soundscapes of Skywave, adding more catchy rhythmic undertones and a more intense approach for this new outfit. Meanwhile, the remaining members of Skywave remained local and formed fellow shoegaze group Ceremony. On record, the band is overdriven and sharp, all instruments pushing into the red with a pseudo-industrial aesthetic, while on stage they are an intensely passionate and pummeling force of fury, a treat for both the eyes and the ears. Oliver is also founder of the Brooklyn-based experimental pedal company, Death By Audio. Many of the band's unique sonic textures are the result of his own audio experimentation and deconstruction of electronics. Needless to say, this band is best experienced at maximum volume. - Systems of Romance


If the modern electro-opulence of The Faint and the stark, attacking wall of sound-scapes of the Jesus & Mary Chain ever made eyes at each other in the dank corners of a smokey club, New York city's A Place To Bury Strangers would be their one night stand love child. The NYC trio have taken cues from JAMC's earlier years of ear-blowing feedback made into warped melodies and the sexy swagger and slither of bass-fueled synths. The lyrics follow suit with the stripped down simplicity of a Buddy Holly song gone wrong with so simple its clever lines like, "I wanna mess you up / I wanna beat you up". - Filter


Discography

"A Place to Bury Strangers" CD Killer Pimp
"A Place To Bury Strangers" LP Important Records
Album also available digitally through ITunes, Rhapsody, Napster, eMusic, and GroupieTunes.

Photos

Bio

A Place To Bury Strangers have often been called "the loudest band in New York".

This may very well be the case, but unlike much so-called loud rock and roll that's out there, APTBS is not loud simply for the sake of it. The sonically overdriven sound they've accomplished is no clumsy accident, but a carefully cultivated and well-maintained entity all its own, fostered by an unbridled passion that's clearly evident in every live show they play and each recording they make.

A Place To Bury Strangers does not so much play songs as allow them to pour out. They are songs about longing, heartbreak and confusion played extremely well and at a passionately loud volume.

Based in New York City, APTBS in was formed in 2003 by Oliver Ackermann formerly of Skywave and creator of Death By Audio pedals and effects. It is no coincidence that Ackermann is able to generate his signature avant-experimental guitar sound, having such a command over his instrument and building his own effects.

A Place To Bury Strangers are:
Oliver Ackermann (guitars/vocals), Jay Space (drums) and Jono Mofo (bass guitar).