Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Place to Bury Strangers:Transfixiation

"Transfixiation" might not explode with the same level of bombast the bands earlier work has, but there is a level of maturity.  Each album has seen the band grow their sound. The Wire influence is much more noticeable. You can't say the have scaled back on the noisier aspects of their sound they have just put them in different places. The emphasis seems to be on vocals which are the area of the most evident growth, aside from a level of restraint most people would take for granted.

The bass groove to "Straight" carries more of a Firehose churn than what you might expect from this band. However "Love High" is a slightly more shoegazey take on what the band does best and is the first song that sounds like their older material. This is not the only dip into shoegazing the band embarks upon. "What we Don't See" is upbeat to the point of being as poppy as this band gets, yet the song is coated in wavering effects not unlike My Bloody Valentine , especial when it comes to the guitar tone.

They dip into a delightful darkness on "Deeper" which earns it's name on a variety of levels. From the  vocals dramatic drop into a spectral baritone to the almost  dirge like mood it invokes until building into a cacophonous slink. They return to something closer to the band's classic sound on "We've Come So Far" .  They kick into a much more sonic attack. Having seen this band live I can only imagine how loud this would be blared on stage. The almost 90's slacker ambiance to "Now It's Over"  provides the dynamic springboard for a post-punk rocker like "I'm So Clean" to be most effective it it's feedback laced spasms.

They drift back into darker waters on "Fill the Void" with the guitar getting up in your face like you would normally expect from these guys. The punk elements are left unchecked and become even more rabid on the hyper-fuzz of "I Will Die".  The vocals don't hold the post-punk monotone chant quality instead they are howled in more of an Iggy Pop manner. I'll give this album a 9 some of the song breeze by some grab you by the throat , I think I might like "Worship" a little better, but this one still has time to grow on me and a 9 is far from shabby, it's just not perfect.

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