A Place to Bury Strangers

Transfixiation

Dead Oceans

Feb 16, 2015 Issue #52 - January/February 2015 - St. Vincent Bookmark and Share


A Place to Bury Strangers' noisy fuzz is its trademark. On the trio's fourth album, Transfixiation, this working noise-rock formula is not much changed. Taking cues from the Brooklyn-based, "nu-gazer" threesome's ear-splitting live shows, which primarily take place in complete darkness, Transfixiation sounds like it was recorded in such a void-and that is not at all a bad thing.

By starting on a melodic, if sharply abrasive, note with "Straight," Transfixiation shifts a few degrees from the sonic overkill that is APTBS's stamp. The last album was the first recorded with bassist Dion Lunadon and this album is the first recorded with drummer Robi Gonzalez. Both toured with APTBS prior to recording and have an understanding for frontman Oliver Ackermann's unique manipulation of distortion, delay, and density. There are Jesus and Mary Chain grooves on "We've Come So Far" and a demented Marilyn Manson sensibility on "Deeper." Transfixiation gets thrashiest on "I'm So Clean," but bounces away from the cacophony with the buoyant "Fill the Void." It ends, however, on its most static and lyrically incomprehensible track with the morbid and desperate "I Will Die."

Transfixiation generally features fairly quick songs that don't wallow too much in self-indulgent noisemaking. They make you pant just long enough, then give you a breather until the next reverberating hurricane of sound. (www.aptbs.tumblr.com)

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