Often hailed as New York's loudest band, A Place To Bury Strangers unleash an impenetrable wave of noise with this solid debut. This is feedback-drenched garage rock that exudes muscle with every song. Their influences can certainly be heard through the fog with My Bloody Valentine and Jesus And Mary Chain being the most obvious but through the course of the record this sound becomes all their own.
Fusing clattering beats, driving, effect-dripping guitar and deeply buried vocals APTBS create a wall of sound that slowly advances toward you like the walls of a dank, creaking chamber. The speed with which this advance takes place varies greatly but the consistent element is its towering presence. Opener Missing You lays down a foundation of guitar that sounds like its being played through gravel but is brought to electrifying life by the lead guitar melody that soars over the top. To Fix The Gash In Your Head builds on a layer of programed beats that come at you like a machine gun. The contrast between this muscular music and the slow, muted and Joy Division-like monotone of Oliver Ackermann is the defining feature and as he calculatedly plots "i'll just wait for you to turn around, and kick your face in," the result is quite arresting. The Falling Sun ploughs a different course, that of painfully slow yet astral grandeur, but the destination is the same.
Like San Francisco's Wooden Shjips, APTBS have one setting and that is BIG but the fascinating thing about this debut is hearing them use this setting to treat various tempos and scales. On the awesome Breathe it's quite mesmerizing to hear this vast sound being employed in a steady, rhythmical way, it's like watching a giant handle a feather.
This record is like unearthing an 80's shoegaze classic that' been buried for years under a mountain of noise. It swirls with narcotic mesmerism and while the spell works its evil magic your head is slowly caved in with terrifying accuracy. Whether they come at you slow or pound your face to dust as quick as lightning the result is total annihilation. It's good stuff.