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cd review: a place to bury strangers: exploding head
10 October, 2009, 10:05 PM
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Reviewed on Thursday, October 08, 2009 by Areti Sakellaris
Published on
4 stars

A Place to Bury Strangers is a worthy challenger to the noise-rock kings of Los Angeles, aka HEALTH. With their second album, Exploding Head, the New York-based trio delivers an experimental album of ambient tones woven together with shoegaze textures with enough force to induce whiplash.

What makes APTBS more than a bunch of kids making ear-splitting jams is their approach: it’s quite clear that Oliver Ackermann is an aesthete and diligently works through the tracks until he achieves a sweet spot amidst all the cacophony. The finesse demonstrated on “Keeping Slipping Away,” “It Is Nothing” and “Deadbeat” goes beyond reiterations of The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine or Talking Heads; they have skills and creativity to make their music relevant and standout.

“Ego Death” is the most HEALTH-esque track, fueled by the eerie interplay of brooding lyrics and aggressive instrumentation. Whereas HEALTH is rough around the edges, APTBS is velvety smooth, each track adding to the album’s merits. Exploding Head is a movement deftly capturing atmospheric exuberance.