REVIEW: A Place To Bury Strangers ‘Worship’

Set to release their latest studio album WORSHIP on June 22 on Dead Oceans through Inertia, fans of A Place To Bury Strangers will be pleased to know that there is an ocean of distortion, feedback, and fuzz waiting to tear their pretty little ear drums apart.

Aptly named as one of the loudest bands of all time, A Place To Bury Strangers are known for raising the decibels to an almost unbearable level, leaving audiences with onset tinnitus almost instantaneously. As a self-proclaimed FX connoisseur, I must say, there are some seriously insane sounds coming out of  of which I wholeheartedly approve!

Though, this new record of theirs! Yes! Drenched in distortion from the very get-go, A Place To Bury Strangers soak the listener in wall upon wall of screaming fuzz as the static howl of lonely, late night city streets mesh with Ackerman’s hauntingly reverb’d out vocals. What sounds like passing cars and shattering glass, the constant thud of an apocalyptic beat, and dark grooving bass lines bring to mind post-punk/goth bands, and as much as I don’t want to call them industrial, the vibe is rubbin’ off on me. Whatever — I dig it!

Worship, as a record, literally goes at a million miles an hour! Drum machine beats and chaotic fuzz propel you through the empty rooms and oceans of static that these sounds conjure within one’s mind. There is this feeling throughout the entire record that, at any moment, the lightning-thunder-hurricane of feedback that is A Place To Bury Strangers will tear right through our ear drums (and this moment occurs very often).  

At 5 minutes and 28 seconds long, Dissolved is about as long as it gets here, the mid way point of the 11 track strong record is a high, dividing the record into two sections. Opening with a harmonious, melancholic tone and a snare heavy beat reminiscent of a funeral march A Place To Bury Strangers allow us to float for a while, during the latter half a rather catchy bassline, melody and wall of fuzz return to resurrect the deceased.

Worship, as a record, is literally a million miles an hour! Drum machine beats and chaotic fuzz propel you through the empty rooms and oceans of static that these songs conjure up within one’s mind. The album art work is mind-bending; I can’t tell whether their record cover is up or down (am I falling or looking up into hazy red skies?) I don’t even know. It looks cool though, and suits their sound.

The times when these guys space things out, building their sound during the likes of Fear and Slide hears them at their best. The sonar call of reverb’d tremolo arms bending, echoing through the night air and reverse guitar tones add great dynamics to the otherwise onslaught of sound, every time you think it’s all over, Ackerman pulls out the defibrillator paddles to kick your chest in one more time again.

A Place To Bury Strangers have found a formula that really works for them and it works for me too, and, though their studio sound cannot compare to their live performances, WORSHIP is a whole heap of tinnitus ready and waiting for your listening pleasures.

Words by Joshua Daydream


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