Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Place To Bury Strangers: "Total Sonic Annihilation"

If there are only two musical genres that are universally loved and nobody ever tires of, it has to be shoegaze and acid. We'll be talking mostly about the former here.

A Place To Bury Strangers - I Know I'll See You [2007]

This morning, over perfectly runny eggs at Pete's Place in Ferndale, Lynchy, his girlfriend Nicole and I were talking about "the loudest band in New York" (no... seriously) A Place To Bury Strangers and the possibility of putting a show together with them, 800beloved and Dethlab this fall. That still may or may not happen, but everything took an interesting twist this afternoon when Sean noticed that they're opening for bloody Nine Inch Nails in August! (Past creative miscarriages and thick neck aside, Trent has really been on top of it lately. He, JJ Abrams, Rob Walker, Geoff Manaugh, Marius Watz, Bruce Sterling and Sam Valenti should get in a room together and just make something awesome - I don't care what, but I'm sure it'd be a lot cooler than a Segway. Something on the level of inventing the internet or a whole new spectrum of colors... but I digress. Point is: Trent knows what's up these days, and booking A Place To Bury Strangers is just further proof.)

Backing up to the beginning:
A Place To Bury Strangers is the brainchild of one Oliver Ackermann, who's company Death By Audio builds the most intense hand crafted distortion pedals in the universe. Don't believe me - check out the sound samples, or ask people such as The Edge and the aforementioned Mr. Reznor. The things come with a warning label ["this WILL blow your amp",] and a lot of what sounds like analog synths on 800beloved songs is a Jaguar Baritone run through DBA pedals.

Death By Audio SchematicDeath By Audio schematic 3

Ackermann was previously in the shoegaze outfit Skywave with Ceremony frontman Paul Baker [for the record, not Barker - though that would be a very intersting pairing.]

A Place To Bury Strangers - To Fix The Gash in Your Head [2007]

As Lynchy noted, the thing about A Place To Bury Strangers isn't that they're just loud, but they hit frequencies the human ear is not accustomed to. Ackermann understands sound at a very scientific and physiological level, and exploits that knowledge to what some might say are sadomasochistic ends.
I, myself, quite like it.
[Hurts so good.]

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