A Place to Bury Strangers

Transfixiation

Written by: BV on 09/03/2015 15:28:52

I’ve recently found that the music I predominantly take a liking too is often a swirling, chaotic vortex of sounds. Not necessarily like that from track to track, but more when it comes to albums as a whole. I often don’t take a liking to albums that don’t show a wide diversity, nor do I find particular joy in painstakingly homogenous albums – there has to be something, even just a little breaker from the album that shows me that the band is capable of working in more ways than what seems preferential for them. A multifaceted approach, if you will. Perhaps that’s why I’ve recently found myself liking A Place to Bury Strangers, a band I had previously not seen myself getting into. For you see, even though the formula of their material is pretty much straightforward with the use of loudness, cacophony and chaos as main ingredients, it is this simplicity and rambunctious approach to creating music that makes for a multifaceted experience. Their newest album, “Transfixiation”, is a fair example of it too.

Album opener “Supermaster” opens in a fairly laid-back style when considering the band performing it. A driving, persistent bass dominates the soundscape whilst the vocal work bears a strange, yet only vague similarity to that of the late Ian Curtis, formerly of Joy Division. The eerie guitar effects provide a suitable amount of background cacophony to drive the track forward in its own, sheltered strangeness but it never really grows beyond that. With “Straight”, however, both the pace and the density of the soundscape gets kicked up a notch - showcasing what sounds like three incredibly pissed off dudes with an affinity for spewing random noises out on top of a fairly steady, yet not entirely tight groove. It doesn’t necessarily have to be tight either, by the way, as that would probably do more harm than good in the musical spectrum of A Place to Bury Strangers. Their sound relies heavily on a free flow and unpredictability only found when you simply can’t be fucked to be a perfectionist anymore. In terms of noise rock it works, but I’m finding it hard to believe that this album will gain the band a notable amount of new listeners.

“Deeper” finds the band venturing into a grim, despair-laden sonic territory – a place where the band seems to thrive, as it retains a status in my mind as one of the definite high points of the album; along with “Straight” and “We’ve Come So Far”. The latter probably takes up the position as my favorite track of the album as it is remarkably catchy in its own right – not a bad quality for a noise rock track, but definitely an unexpected one. What it all comes down to, however, is the fact that “Transfixiation” is as uncompromising as the remainder of A Place to Bury Strangers’ discography. This is what you get, and although the musical palette at first seems monotonous, there is a multitude of different layers found underneath the “pissed off dudes spewing random noises on top of heavy distortion” tag that the band has seemingly gotten as time has passed on. It’s not a groundbreaking album, nor is it their best one yet. But it’s a fairly solid outing for a band with a clearly defined sound that is surprisingly hard to categorize.

7

Download: Straight, We’ve Come So Far, Deeper
For the fans of: Narcosatanicos, Singapore Sling, The Soft Moon
Listen: Facebook

Release date 17.02.2015
Dead Oceans


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