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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.


cd review: health: get color
21 September, 2009, 1:00 PM
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Reviewed on Monday, September 14, 2009 by Areti Sakellaris
Published on; Summer 2009 URB
Lovepump United
4.5 Stars

Fresh from touring with Nine Inch Nails, Crystal Antlers, and Of Montreal, HEALTH set about producing their sophomore album, Get Color, straight onto 2 inch tape to amp up their already magnificent auditory experience. Citing a rich array of artists from the post-punk, new wave and early indie eras as influences, HEALTH layers richly constructed noise in a brazen explosion of talent and distortion to offer an exquisite and weird sophomore album.

One-two-punch album opener “In Heat” kicks off a collection of tracks featuring killer harmonizing and a riveting juxtaposition of otherworldly vocals and hypnotizing instrumentation. If their self-titled album was a colossal wall of sound, Get Color is an ocean with increased depth, variety, and ambition. Each song boasts enhanced cohesion, achieved mostly by strengthening their repetitions and loops, while the bombardment of drums and distortion is more powerful than ever before.

The four-piece continue their fierce DIY aesthetic, working without a producer for the second time around. And if their self-titled debut sometimes sounded like a learning experience, this time around, the sound is more assured, even if the vocals are softer, more ethereal.

Also newly added is the band’s own version of the ballad, two of which “We Are Water” and “In Violet” delicately close Get Color. For some, HEALTH will still be written off as noise, but for fans, it sounds like the quartet tapped into its groove.