12 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Working in a black and gray palette of volume overkill and distortion, A Place to Bury Strangers could hardly have chosen a more restrictive milieu. Once you’ve shown you can sustain rhythms that threaten to dissolve under layers of corrosive murk or carve something like a pop melody out of a swirling abyss, what’s left? This Brooklyn band isn’t afraid to find out. On Worship, it borrows the taut early post-punk of Wire’s more experimental side, along with the cavernous, rhythmic grooves of Joy Division. It hones the edges of staccato bass lines and spark-throwing guitar noise until everything burns bright white. The heat generated by the friction on tunes like “Revenge” and “Leaving Tomorrow” is as blinding as it is deafening, while the gleaming “You Are the One” moves in a silvery streak before it melts into a puddle of steaming black ooze. The industrial gray of the first half of “Dissolved” suddenly turns pink, as the last two minutes bubble—surprisingly—with fantastically airy, glittering guitar. The willingness of APTBS to be bold and daring while staying inside the boundaries of its chosen sound garden is a beautiful thing indeed.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Working in a black and gray palette of volume overkill and distortion, A Place to Bury Strangers could hardly have chosen a more restrictive milieu. Once you’ve shown you can sustain rhythms that threaten to dissolve under layers of corrosive murk or carve something like a pop melody out of a swirling abyss, what’s left? This Brooklyn band isn’t afraid to find out. On Worship, it borrows the taut early post-punk of Wire’s more experimental side, along with the cavernous, rhythmic grooves of Joy Division. It hones the edges of staccato bass lines and spark-throwing guitar noise until everything burns bright white. The heat generated by the friction on tunes like “Revenge” and “Leaving Tomorrow” is as blinding as it is deafening, while the gleaming “You Are the One” moves in a silvery streak before it melts into a puddle of steaming black ooze. The industrial gray of the first half of “Dissolved” suddenly turns pink, as the last two minutes bubble—surprisingly—with fantastically airy, glittering guitar. The willingness of APTBS to be bold and daring while staying inside the boundaries of its chosen sound garden is a beautiful thing indeed.

TITLE TIME

About A Place to Bury Strangers

Drawing inspiration from shoegaze, post-punk, and atmospheric and dark sounds of all stripes, A Place to Bury Strangers is the project of singer/songwriter/guitarist Oliver Ackermann and a rotating cast of support players. Despite the frequent lineup changes, APTBS maintained a smoldering attitude as they evolved from the classic shoegaze sounds of their 2007 self-titled debut to the noise and electronic experiments of albums like 2015's Transfixiation and 2018's Pinned.

While the group's roots date back to 2002, A Place to Bury Strangers first gained momentum when Ackermann, formerly of the like-minded Skywave, joined forces with drummer Jay Space and bassist Jono Mofo, both former members of the band Mofo. Taking a darker, heavier, and more experimental approach than any of the members' previous projects, the trio made a splash in 2006, when they self-released three EPs and played shows that led to them being hailed as New York's loudest band. In 2007, Killer Pimp released the band's self-titled debut, which captured their sonic assault in its rawest form. After signing to Mute in early 2009, APTBS honed their songwriting for that October's Exploding Head.

In 2010, Mofo left the group and was replaced by bassist Dion Lunadon. For the 2012 EP Onwards to the Wall, APTBS moved in a darker, louder direction reminiscent of their early releases. By the time their third album, Worship, arrived in later 2012, A Place to Bury Strangers were down to the duo of Ackermann and Lunadon, who recorded and produced the album themselves. Later that year, drummer Robi Gonzalez joined the band and made his recorded debut on 2013's Strange Moon, an EP of covers of songs by the legendary Portland band Dead Moon. Two years later, APTBS worked with Serena Maneesh's Emil Nikolaisen on Transfixiation, one of the band's noisiest and most eclectic albums. Gonzalez retired from touring and was replaced by Ceremony drummer John Fedowitz for the Transfixiation tour. Drummer/vocalist Lia Simon Braswell joined A Place to Bury Strangers for 2018's Pinned, a sleek set that emphasized electronic textures as well as the interplay between Ackermann and Braswell's singing. ~ Heather Phares

ORIGIN
New York, NY [Brooklyn]
FORMED
2002

Songs

Albums

Videos

Listeners Also Played