A Place to Bury Strangers
A Place to Bury Strangers


3.5
great

Review

by Amalgam USER (4 Reviews)
January 8th, 2008 | 10 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Echoic. Explosive. Everything about A Place to Bury Strangers in two words.

Critically acclaimed by Yahoo! as one of the top ten albums of the year, I just had to check out A Place to Bury Strangers. Described as noise rock at it's finest, A Place to Bury Strangers didn't disappoint. APTBS' has a proven formula of noisy, distortion filled songs with almost spacey sounds to surround it to create powerful songs that grab the listener's attention. Sadly, however, APTBS has done nothing too incredible or innovative, although that's not necessarily a bad thing.

If you've never heard the band before, then the first track will be (as it was for me) a bit of a heart racer. There is no 10 seconds of intro music or buildup; as soon as the album begins it explodes with a thumping bass line over repetitive drumming, with distorted, rackety sounding guitars over it; this soon degenerates into spacey synths and echoing, distant vocals over the bass and drum. Missing You, the first track, is an example of everything good about ATPBS: it's got good, solid drumming and bass that can quickly explode under psychedelic synths, or feedback and distortion-laden guitars. The album will continue in this fashion, utilizing the wall of sound theory to create explosive, knock-you-off-your-feet rhythms. Don't Think Lover, the second track, is a personal favorite of mind, using upbeat vocals in the verses and a drum blast in to explode into the powerful musical interludes in between; the song is one of the "happiest" sounding songs on the album, having an uncharacteristic brightness to it.

To Fix the Gash in Your Head is techno-laden drums and echoic vocals with a humorous twist; the chorus-line is "to kick your face in, to fix the gash in your head" that gets me chanting along with the song every time. The Falling Sun is the slowest song on the album, but that doesn't mean it's bad! The characteristic explosion is still their, while the softer moments have a slow, trudging, melancholy quality to them. The song, while not a favorite, is a fine example of the explosive power of APTBS, although it's not hard to find that on this album.

The second half of the album begins with Another Step Away, the second brightest song on the album, next to Don't Think Lover. Psychedelic noises echoing of the walls of the song are played throughout the song, with the bass and drums both pounding away under them. If you haven't noticed yet, every song I've mentioned has one underlying quality: echo. Echo is used on this album as an instrument as much as any of the guitars, basses, or drums. The albums reeks of echo, and it's not a bad thing! The echo defines the album in many aspects, as without it the album wouldn't be as powerful. But, the echo definitely becomes monotonous.

Breathe explodes in, brazen and echo-y, with trance-like vocals pouring over the sound. The song almost has a flood-like quality with the lyrics; they flow over the tops of the instruments, over the distortion and reverb, overtaking the instruments. Of course, once the vocals stop, the song regains it's blasting, pounding sound. I Know I'll See You utilizes psychedilia-techno more than any other song on the album. The ticking of the drums with the reverb-filled snare are most noticeable in this track, with the droning vocals radiating over them. She Dies uses exploding, distortion filled cymbals in its effort to create a powerful, erupting sound, and it succeeds. The song, when it gets loud, GETS LOUD, with an eruption of bass drums and cymbals creating an exploding sound, like bombs being dropped; the song also has a melodic flow to it that intrigued me. During the verse, the song is almost rolling along with a sort of expressive notion; then, the guitar screeches in, and the drums begins to drop bombs. My Weakness is characteristically powerful and driving, with nothing too extraordinary about it.

Ocean, weighing in at 5:59 (the longest song on the album), has a less explosive quality throughout most of it. The song is actually less based around squealing distortion and more around the vocals! The song says something about "never let it go," but the vocals are so reverb-filled, it's hard to make out exactly what he says; of course, every track's vocals are like this. In the final minute-and-a-half of this song, the familiar distortion rides in and then fades out, planting a nice ending to an impressive album.

The album is powerful. It's explosive, it's echoic, it's...boring? Well, not exactly, but APTBS, sadly, doesn't really stretch the limits to anything beyond distortion and reverb. Of course, that doesn't take away from the intensity of the album, it just leaves a lot to be desired. Hopefully the band's future efforts will show expansion with their ideas, rather than following the same formula with every song. Despite being repetitive, however, A Place to Bury Strangers is a solid effort and a solid debut album for the band.


user ratings (93)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
red0 (4.5)
With a whole arsenal of crunching, gritty, noisy guitars drenched in feedback, loose atmospheres, an...


Comments:Add a Comment 
DWittisarockstar
January 8th 2008


1501 Comments


Pretty good review. I'll vote. This sounds pretty boring.

Oh, and "echoic" and "echo-y" are both definitely not words.

Amalgam
January 21st 2008


9 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Actually, DWitt, echoic is indeed a word, look it up.

Echo-y I just used for fun.

ClearTheLane
January 24th 2008


990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review. I really love 'I Know I'll See You'. One of the best songs of 2007. But could you possibly add a list of recommended tracks at the end. That'd be nice.

AggravatedYeti
May 28th 2008


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

'Don't Think Lover' and 'To Fix The Gash In Your Head' rock my world.
This album was pretty badass, if a bit too overindulgent at times. But man are they LOUD.

jpattison
August 14th 2008


125 Comments


From what I've heard they kind of sound like theyre heavily influenced by Joy Division and the goth era of The Cure.
They sound great to me thus far though.
I hope to purchase the album

aresx
January 21st 2009


307 Comments


I really like this album, i'm listenin to it right now
i like to describe it as Industrial Psychedelic, even though its probably not anything close to what it really is Lol

slan
March 10th 2009


50 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Quote:From what I've heard they kind of sound like theyre heavily influenced by Joy Division and the goth era of The Cure.

Heavy on the Psychocandy as well.


This Message Edited On 03.10.09

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 9th 2009


15082 Comments


ugh this is so banal and so bad

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 3rd 2010


15082 Comments


Sucks. Might be able to enjoy its noise-and-loudness-and-chugchugchug formula in one-maybe-two-song bursts, but it's utterly insufferable as an album. Extra .5 for the fact that some songs have a cool visceral energy separate from the album.

initnull
January 7th 2012


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

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