It’s one of the painful truths of growing old, watching some of the greatest band’s that energised you in your youth, lose their teeth and bark, as they hobble through the motions of another tour or album.
That couldn’t be further from the truth with A Place To Bury Strangers though. There is no risk of Ackerman and co. struggling to keep up and retain the title of ‘the loudest band in New York’ from the every increasing din and decibel of the young bands inspired and following in their wake.
Starting their own label Dedstrange, seems to have inspired APTBS. They’ve been busy signing the radio renegades and sonic sound rebels the world over to create a niche record label focused on experimentation, creativity, distortion, and dangerous decibel levels.
The Hologram EP gave us a taste of the new line up, but with ‘Let’s See Each Other‘ we get to fully feast on the feral fuzz and ferocious fire of next year’s feature length ‘See Through You‘.
The track begins with the familiar collosal slow stomp beat of the pounding drum and the fuzzy fizz of the dizzy din of the distorted sound.
The soundscape starts slow with a building restraint that paints a picture of surrealist scope in the bed of the instrumentation. There is something epic and otherworldly to it and it peeks through and cements itself to the weight of the song in the lyrics.
In the first instrumental break there is beautiful unsettling moment where the sound funnels and then expands passing from the left to the right ear. It is a feat of mixing mastery and leaves the listener off balance.
There is a quiet fury that smoulders at the foot of the fire on this one. It isn’t a burning inferno itself but retains the heat of the fire and has an enchanting glow all of its own.
This isn’t a return to form for APTBS, it’s an evolution. The dagger dark distortion sweeps through the sonic soundscape to obscure your senses just enough to leave you vulnerable, and the prickling tension is utterly divine.
The band constantly innovates to feed you sumptuous surprises and shocks that foster a giddy childlike awe and appreciation for music and raw creativity.
APTBS revel in the experimentation of their unique vision and the thickness of the cathartic chaos they create. The weight of the wall of noise presses down on the listener to leave them breathless but completely sure they’re still alive.
Words by Matt Miles.