A Place To Bury Strangers
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We get a lot of records sent to us here at The A.V. Club. Fortunately, we end up liking some of them. In Playlisted, we share our latest recommendations.
Album: Onwards To The Wall by A Place To Bury Strangers (out now on Dead Oceans)
Press play if you like: An icestorm of black static and splintered echoes ripping savagely into a flock of dreamy, melodic, dead-eyed drones. Also: moaning. Lots of moaning.
Some background: With The Jesus And Mary Chain about to undergo its latest resurrection, A Place To Bury Strangers is either more or less relevant than ever—seeing as how APTBS has always operated under the stylistic shadow of its legendary forefather. But APTBS has carved its own niche in the post-punk-meets-shoegaze revival, even as it’s been reluctant to venture from that niche since its self-titled 2007 debut. The group’s new EP, Onwards To The Wall, is its first major release since 2009’s excellent Exploding Head, and it doesn’t stray from the formula: Dipped in syrup and rolled in broken glass, its five tracks—including the pounding, harrowing “Drill It Up” and the crystalline heartache of “I Lost You” —reestablish the band’s proud JAMC pedigree while settling into a grim, frost-gripped fatalism all its own.
Try this: Although the barbed, blurry “So Far Away” is getting the big push, the EP’s relatively spacious title track offers more immediate chills. By cranking the serration down a notch, the song’s empathy with Faith-era Cure—not to mention the candied-razor guest vocals of Moon’s Alanna Nuala—allow APTBS’ sinuous feedback to slither and slink through empty space like a mesmerized cobra.