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A Place To Bury Strangers - Exploding Head

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 21 / 10 / 2009

A Place To Bury Strangers - Exploding Head
Label: Mute Records
Format: CD


Extreme, but totally compelling second album from New York-based post rock act, A Place to Bury Strangers

I fucking love this band. As with all love affairs, however, the first initial explosion of romance is usually the best. Their self-titled debut album was so perfect it was my album of the year for two years in a row, first of all upon its initial release in 2007, and then again when it was reissued in 2008 with extra tracks. The release date for ‘Exploding Head’ was put back a week, and it finally came out on the same day as the Raveonettes’ new album, ‘In and Out of Control’. Both of these rate as my joint album of the year for 2009. I delayed played ‘Exploding Head’ as I was worried that it might not be as good as their debut album. It's a very different record, but it still screws around with your head as all good loud music should. This most definitely shakes the dust off your CD player. It opens with ‘It is Nothing’ which sets the tone for the album that follows, being fast and furious and on fire from its first note to the last. It has both a lovely nu-gaze glow to it and hints of the original shoegazing sound. It is very reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine and wonderful for it. ‘In Your Heart’ is their latest single. It is available only on seven inch and limited to a mere three hundred copies. It features an unreleased B side and I can't find it anywhere other than on eBay. This is a full-on killer track, very trippy with a drum machine-paced groove. ‘Lost Feeling’ sounds like a darker version of Joy Division and even more doom-laden with an essence of total fear in its notes. It is joyously Gothic in tone and loud. ‘Dead Beat’ is an old track to my ears as A Place to Bury Strangers have played it on their last two tours. It is a song that sucks you in and kicks you back out just as quickly with its fantastic rhythm. ‘Keep Slipping Away’ recalls the Cure at the time of their ‘Faith’ and ‘Pornography’ albums and when they were at their most Gothic. It is a song that is dressed in black and proud of it too and absolutely perfect. ‘Ego Death’ is a drawn out affair and, another oldie for me, is very haunting. It is reminiscent of the Jesus and Mary Chain, but more furious, and has guitars that roar for all their worth. ‘Smile When You Smile’, is quite poppy in feel. Fast and furious, it is how pop should be made. ‘Everything Always Goes Wrong’ has a quick driving beat. Another head spinner, it recalls the Jesus and Mary Chain at their most intelligent. ‘Exploding Head’ is like a dance version of the Cure’s ‘A Forest’, and again is a track that wraps itself totally around your head. It ends with ‘I Lived My Life to Stand in the Shadow of Your Heart’, which is another song to get lost in. Recalling My Bloody Valentine, it really does make you check your stereo to see if it can handle all the loud guitars that are roaring for all their worth. This album is very extreme indeed and incredibly noisy. What a beautiful noise though! My joint album of the year!

Track Listing:-
1 It Is Nothing
2 In Your Heart
3 Lost Feeling
4 Dead Beat
5 Keep Slipping Away
6 Ego Death
7 Smile When You Smile
8 Everything Always Goes Wrong
9 Exploding Head
10 I Lived My Life To Stand In The Shadow Of Your Heart

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Interview (2009)
A Place To Bury Strangers - Interview
In our second interview with them, Anthony Strutt talks to Oliver Ackermann, the vocalist and guitarist with New York based psychedelic/shoegazing trio A Place to Bury Strangers, about his group's hectic last year and their forthcoming second alabum


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