A Place To Bury Strangers, Worship
Full of smart, interesting progressions
After a decade together, A Place to Bury Strangers have more or less perfected their aesthetic: feedback-coated noise with nods to post-punk’s darkest corners, shoegaze’s cracked-out distortion and goth’s sense of the macabre. (For comparison, think Joy Division in a wind tunnel, or Love & Rockets fading in and out of a staticky radio station.) The band’s turbocharged music is immersive (especially live, when they resemble a shuddering high-speed train), although in large doses it can be fatiguing. Worship, the band’s third album, solves this problem by creating breathing room. The sparse “Fear” takes nearly four minutes to get to its clamorous denouement; tension-filled guitar quivers, Oliver Ackermann’s depths-of-hell murmurs and stinging sound effects introduce a sense of dread before then. “You Are The One” has a chipper synthpop foundation, while keening metallic clouds hover through the dream-like “Dissolved” until it too morphs into a brisk post-punk jog reminiscent of the Cure circa Faith. While fans of A Place To Bury Strangers’ pedal-distorted din have plenty to enjoy — the sublime “And I’m Up” is a dead ringer for the burnt-out garage-pop Jesus & Mary Chain — Worship is full of smart, interesting progressions.