A Place To Bury Strangers – Transfixiation – Album Review by Killian Laher
So you miss the dark, goth sound of the 80s? Fear not, the self-styled loudest band in New York, A Place To Bury Strangers are back with album number four. Sounds like they have fully backed away from the shoegaze sound of their earlier, promising albums, replacing it with a mid-eighties groove. The moody posturing of opening track Supermaster sounds like The Cult before they dropped the goth tinges and went full METAL jacket via Rick Rubin. Following track Straight picks the pace up but, like many of these tracks, doesn’t really go anywhere.
They haven’t abandoned distortion, evidenced by the brief, dull whine of Love High, while the almost-jangle of What We Don’t See harks back to early Ride. But mostly it’s an album of dark rumblings, with little in the way of charm. The darkest of these being Deeper, where Oliver Ackermann growls comically deep threats (“if you ride with me… if you talk to me… if you f**k with me”) over slamming percussion, before adding “I gotta get some tea”. At least that’s what it sounds like. It’s quite strange, yet sort of enjoyable, even when the dense guitar wails kick in.
Many of the tracks slam quite hard without leaving much impression – We’ve Come So Far, the incredibly distorted I’m So Clean and the repetitive Fill The Void. In fact, the noisy psychedelia of final track I Will Die could almost be a different band. However, Now It’s Over is a saving grace, pulling off that brooding, post-punk sound pretty well. But I suspect there’s not a lot here that will stand (withstand?) the test of time.
3. Love High
4. What We Don’t See
6. Lower Zone
7. We’ve Come So Far
8. Now It’s Over
9. I’m So Clean
10. Fill The Void
11. I Will Die