The ‘loudest indie band in New York’ compile their EPs into their first full-length. After littering last year with such EPs as Red, Blue, and Green, Brooklyn’s A Place To Bury Strangers has taken those tracks and put them together into A Place To Bury Strangers. As the name implies, Place harkens to the dark, driving, gothic alt-road rock popping up from here to there. The band also borrows especially heavily from the genre’s eighties origins, but puts it all together very well.
Place starts off with a bang, thanks to “Missing You”; the driving, gothic road piece draws not just from such contemporaries as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (whom APTBS will be touring with this fall – QRO album review), but also the high, New Wave-ish tones of Joy Division or The Jesus and Mary Chain (whom APTBS opened up for recently at Webster Hall – QRO venue review). In many ways, “Missing” is their best put-together piece; the following “Don’t Think Lover” has strong alt-atmospherics, but the hard, heavy guitars feel over-the-top and a little misplaced.
And that is the one danger APTBS runs on this record – of going overboard. “To Fix the Gash in Your Head” is a real throwback in its techno-dance beats & pressing monotone vocals, but kind of out of place, and the same can be said of the subsequent epic post-rock “The Falling Sun”. Luckily, Place picks up in the middle with “Another Step Away”, whose stop/starts and echoes work well, not pretentious. Meanwhile, the dark “I Know I’ll See You” throws in a nice alt-country tinge with its rock (though the in-between “Breathe” is kind of BRMC-lite in its fuzzy thinness). “She Dies” has a nice haunt, but, like “Breathe”, is a little limited – stronger is the fast, short, and sweet “My Weakness”. Finisher “Ocean” returns to the eighties New Wave, albeit a darker tone, with slides and glides amongst the echoes.
Like most first records, A Place To Bury Strangers is a compilation of a band’s work from start to finish (if, in this case, more directly). As such, there are some points that might feel out of place and some notes that don’t quite ring right. But the band is growing and growing, all from a good starting Place.
MP3 Stream: “Missing You”