"Our sound is about our aesthetic," said A Place to Bury Strangers' Oliver Ackermann in a recent NOW interview about the Brooklyn-based trio's third LP. That aesthetic, established on their mercilessly pulverizing 2007 debut, essentially relies on custom gear and studio experimentation (like lighting shit on fire) to flush out the many facets of "loud as fuck."
On Worship, Ackermann emphasizes vocals and melody, but unlike many of the shoegaze forerunners his wasted, wheezing vocals so accurately ape, he's unable to write songs or lyrics anywhere near as gripping as his brilliantly overdriven arrangements. The most satisfying moments - the pounding opening bars of Alone, the lacerating solos on Revenge - are purely visceral.
A Place to Bury Strangers are adept at capturing a certain kind of aggressive energy, but too often they bottle it in middling pop songs.
Top track: Revenge