Friday, July 27, 2012
Live: A Place To Bury Strangers@Drunken Unicorn 7/24/12
I have heard them called the loudest band in New York and , that title was well defended as I can't remember the last show I attended where my ears still rang into the following after noon. Metal heads, you are missing out on A Place to Bury Strangers. Live they were punishing in the same aural sphere Sonic Youth once was but with much more drive. Feedback is their friend and their lo if light show aided the assault. The comfortably sized crowd did not make the drunken unicorn to cozy and was a gathering of head bobbing slackers not unlike a dinosaur jr show from the nineties.
While I was sober for this, those who weren't could fully appreciated the flashing visuals dancing behind the band, whose pummeling strum seldom relented, in the moe,nts where the dynamic did dip down a notch the vocals were more present and the nuances of the guitars sparkled through the din. Their pulse overpowered the unicorn's p.a.
Not much of breath was given in between songs, feed back prevailed when the clash of pick to string stilled. Guitarist Oliver Ackerman dragged some his his smaller combo amps to the front of the stage bass and drums kept churning. They leaned on material from their previous full length "Exploding head" more than their newest album "Worship" but all of the songs slammed into your ear drums with a more abrasive slant than anything of their studio work.
For me the vocal mix of their studio albums, almost scratches the itch left by bands like Stone Roses, particularly on "Worship" so the jarring transition to the live show where guitar and drums were more prominent took the first two songs of me to settle into and their momentum carried me through the rest of their set. At times the strobes were a dizzying sensory overload, but I like a live show that makes me feel something other than indifferent so overwhelmed I can work with.
I would like to see them in a venue which could give them a larger production value, on a bill with Swans and Liturgy would be a cool transition, though Gira tours with acts dramatically different, not to say comparisons could be made between the two aside from volume. The closest comparison live would be Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, but I think A Place to Bury Strangers is more intense in a sonic sense. Overall I would recommend their live show to any one who likes shoegazey guitar that puts a foot up your ass more often than lures you into a dream state.