A Place to Bury Strangers
Jul 03, 2012 Web Exclusive
The self-proclaimed loudest band in New York sure did run out of things to say by their third record. To be fair, Worship speaks through a tremendous instrumental palette, one that suits and occasionally upgrades the tradition of post-punk songscapes that birthed it. These riffs are durable, haunting portraits of a highly contemporary daymare that suggest some cinematic hybrid of Drive and Blade Runner—inspired stuff to say the least.
But unlike their forebears in, say, Joy Division, vocal delivery and lyrics are clearly not their strong points. In fact, the singing part of their songwriting is an afterthought so underdeveloped in relation to the quite fantastic music behind it that it's almost distracting. You've heard it all before—coy urban ennui hiding behind reverb and echo, unassertive and only serving to avoid the dreaded "instrumental" tag. While a handful of modern bands make effective use of vocals as a non-narrative "layer," others need to man up and decide whether they have anything to share verbally. A Place to Bury Strangers, for all their worthy talents, find themselves in the latter camp.
While Worship occasionally soars on its own beautiful anonymity, it misses the bar set by a line of charismatic frontmen who exposed themselves through compelling narratives. All the customized guitar pedals in Brooklyn can't compete with that kind of volume. (www.aptbs.tumblr.com)
Author rating: 5/10
Average reader rating: 8/10