Sometimes a band comes along and it becomes impossible to do a review of them any type of near justice – they are just that phenomenal, that unique, have so much of that special thing which alludes and defies being quantified. But Artrocker needs to get a review done and so here it is. Ideally three words would be written here – go experience yourself ! A Place To Bury Strangers have been around for some time – Artrocker heard many whispers in the sold out, full to capacity, upstairs room at Oslo Hackney in East London. Fans before and after the gig were talking amongst themselves, asking how long the band had been together. No-one seemed to have a definitive answer – the right answer being – a long time – the band formed in 2002.! The Brooklyn NY three piece consist of Oliver Ackermann on guitars and vocals, Robi Gonzalez on drums, Dion Lunadon on bass. In the middle of a huge tour of Europe and North America – with North America already having been done – the tornado that is A Place To Bury Strangers crashed in to London and we were never the same. Having toured Ireland and lots of the UK, London was their last stop – barely breathing before setting off next for Europe. Their Album, out on Dead Oceans, ‘Transfixiation’, is the bands fourth after two years of constant tours and recording – out earlier this year in February. They have also supported The Brian Jonestown Massacre previously and The Jesus And Mary Chain in 2007 – who they cite as a big influence on the band.
The experience of their gigs will leave you scarred – maybe physically, if you get too close to the thrashing guitars, which come to blows with the floor and other band members towards the end of the set – but more than likely musically – specifically that is , it will be hard for any band after this show to match this, full stop. Not just because of the loudness factor, but primarily because the experience is that immense, you will want to savour it long after it has ended.Psychedelic Rock Experimental is their own description of their sound. Shoegaze, Noise….raw, gut pouring lyrics, baring bones and leaving no place to hide – utter desolation of the human psyche unwound – the instruments high on reverb, fuzz and feedback noise utilised to the max, the audience stand transfixed as if at an altar. Add to this the constant moving about on stage and musings and playing with reverbs and effects by lead Ackermann and this all makes for a very watchable show experience. Lunadon on bass is a triumph of deep hooks, contrasting perfectly with the more free form singing and musings from Ackermann. Gonzalez on drums is at times punk inspired and having been with he band for two years has found his own style with many successful variations throughout the set.
A Place To Bury Strangers played one of the best gigs of 2015 so far, with half the sets songs taken from their new Album. Particularly powerful songs included , ‘We’ve Come So Far’, ‘Straight’, ‘Fill The Void’ and ‘I Lived My Life To Stand In The Shadow Of Your Heart’. The band are obscured quite a lot with the set effects shadowing them in billows of grey – their smokey apparitions adding to the haunting raw quality of the whole experience. Apart from some swaying and some attempts at moshing, the frenzy is contained inside as the music entrances us and we lose ourselves in it completely. Turning only at the end of the set to watch as band members, after randomly crashing down guitars on stage – suddenly and methodically pick up instruments and amps and walk through the masses, to the far end of the hall, where members of support band , September Girls were waiting, plugging in amps and ready to play guitars an impromptu jam followed – another microcosm gig that lasted for 30 minutes with the band plugged in to play guitars and drums taken to the back too – with some of September Girls jamming along- it was an incredible sight to see and cameras were nonstop recording this unexpected turn of events! The review of the rest of the gig before this stomping ending? Three words – go experience APTBS for yourself – no words will cover the feelings of this bands live gigs.
Words by Eva Eawaker