Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Album Review: A Place To Bury Strangers- Transfixiation

A Place To Bury Strangers
*** and 1/2 out of *****
The New York City based noise trio A Place To Bury Strangers have released their 4th full length album with Transfixiation, it's first with it's newest member, drummer Robbi Gonzalez. The disk is a mix of slow burning shoegaze and noise driven feedback, but all under a restrained banner; this album won't blow out your speakers but mixes in enough nuance to remain lively in the noise rock genre.   

Working best on vinyl, with a split to two sides, opening bass driven "Supermaster" works its way up with an impending sense of doom and explosion which never arrives; a neat tick and a perfect intro to side one's mixed restraint. The smoldering "Straight" melts away but never catches fire, both "Love High" and "We Don't See" seem to be more fragments then songs, distant quick blasts.

The focus of here is the six minute "Deeper" which opens with headphone cracking bass booms that induce shivers as the combo of evil/sexy vocals/lyrics pry on the brain. Lines like "If you fuck with me/you're gonna burn" and the breathy female backing gasps, along with the title all lead to an erotic industrial offering melts into the tribal drumming of the instrumental "Lower Zone"; as if the sex theme wasn't obvious enough.

Side two plays longer and kicks up the energy with the screechy "We've Come So Far" that uses a repetitive bass line behind chaotic guitars, but that sense of true wildness is reigned in. "Now It's Over" takes an early 80's dance rhythm into noise rock territory while "I'm So Clean" finally turns the feedback into overdriven punk rock.

The come down doesn't last long as "Fill The Void" begins mellow but amps the tempo, tone and pressure with fuzzy guitars and trashcan lid snare slaps. "I Will Die" wraps things up as an experiment in volume with a slowly raising cacophony of sound that overwhelms as the needle reaches the inner label.   

Transfixiation probably won't win over anyone who is not a fan of the group, and the song writing/lyrics here are never going to stand out, but it is the bands most complete album. With not just focusing on noise, but expanding and shifting their sound layer and touch Transfixiation is a positive sign for the group going forward. 
In our noiserock wheelhouse, APTBS is solid in this genre, while never quite becoming one of our favorites, same could be said about Transfixiation.

Support the artist here, buy the album here, peep some video below:

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