Shoegaze / noise-rocker brutalists A Place To Bury Strangers return with their fifth full-length, sharply titled Pinned. As a response of sorts to the last few years of current affairs, it is a blasted-sounded thing, although in truth A Place To Bury Strangers have never been a gentle proposition. Released in a variety of single and double formats by Dead Oceans.
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They may well be ahem...'borrowing' the bassline from Joy Division's 'Transmission' on 'Never Coming Back' but A Place To Bury Strangers make a right old racket that certainly blows any cobwebs away. They have screeching guitars, eerie male/female vocals that sound like they want to kill you and propulsive drumming to create that just stepped out of the concrete tower block sound.
Basically they spend their time twisting Joy Division into new shapes. On 'Execution' this ends up being incredibly thrilling as they throw random noise segments onto the track sometimes threatening to over power everything with them. Their sound is a tightly wound knuckle fist of a thing, the instruments seem to be squashed into the tiniest of places and yet there's a supremely atmospheric feel to the way the bass and guitars work together. Initially it's hard to find moments when they don't sound like Joy Division but there are other influences here too. 'Too Tough To Kill' is an oddball pop song as if Jesus & Mary Chain had been attacked with chainsaws. I can also hear nods to the Cramps, Young Gods and Swans in their urban sprawl.
It's a visceral, thrilling album full of sonic explorations and it's this daring and inventive exploring of noise rock and shoegaze which sits A Place to Bury Strangers above and beyond the current vogue for replication.
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