A Place To Bury Strangers
Killer Pimp Records
Meet your new fucking favorite band. It's pointless to resist. Every moment of "A Place To Bury Strangers" (both the band and the album, then) is drop-dead fucking leather-jacketed and primitive cool. The sounds whipping and slicing out of the speakers are switchblade tough and heaven sent pretty all at the same time and as we know there are only maybe, what, two bands that can do that (one of them being the Jesus and Mary Chain, which brings me to my next point). A Place To Bury Strangers' aesthetic is in no way new, a lineage straight and true like a needle through the arm of the Velvet Underground, the aforementioned Mary Chain, Spacemen fucking 3, the Cramps, My Bloody Valentine, pil, Beat Happening, and more more more wide-eyed loners with bloody hands - but their execution, fuck, that's where the magic lies.
A heady mix of motorik pop perfection a la the JAMC's Automatic, the gothic majesty of Joy Division's discipline-and-punish assault and total fingernail-pulling feedback violence. With generous doses of black leather, black grease, black fingernails, black hair dye, teenaged caveman menace... Ahhhhhh, there's the stuff. God, I can almost see the guitars melt and warp in their hands as the songs drone on - every note overloading and feeding back with beautiful scree and snarl and echo. Not a moment is wasted, every little distorto tenement symphony whizzes by in a cloud of ill-feeling and longing, the songs are blood simple but that's another point of genius. Clattering drum machine, Peter-Hook-on-speed basslines, disaffected and confused lost boy vocals and a seemingly endless palette of guitar noise and atmospherics, all reined in by a fierce one-chord menace. The lo-fi recordings only add to the dark hearted sense of wonder. Don't worry though, they can do it clean too, like when choirboy vocals and clear chiming guitar emerges from the cloud-or-razors that punctuate every verse of "Don't Think Love."
The textures and sonic squall lines are completely experimental and improvisatory, forcibly lashed to sugary sweet naive pop melodies right out of Phil Spectors coffin (wait, he's not dead yet, but tell me he doesn't sleep in one at night). This formula may sound familiar, but a lot of the current practitioners are rank amateurs compared to this slash-and-burn salvation run. Tonight the sky is full of glittering knives.
- Matthew Moyer