A Place to Bury Strangers | Onwards to the Wall

Dead Oceans (2012)
By REYAN ALI  |  January 24, 2012
3.5 3.5 Stars

Onwards to the Wall

Onwards to the Wall clocks in at 16 minutes and 35 seconds, and it could shatter into smithereens at any moment. This EP from shoegaze/noise-rock tacticians A Place To Bury Strangers is a recording indebted to the pleasures of pressure. Chained to imposing distortion pedals, Onwards' guitars engage in all kinds of histrionic behavior. They buzz with frustration, wail with the force of a giant's yawn, and petulantly resign themselves to white noise, temporarily looming over their scenery like the buzzards of the apocalypse. But even after careering to the edge of total chaos, those instruments never fall apart. Onwards is, at its heart, just one big suicide tease, which is what makes it so fantastic. It's an exercise in potential self-harm that knows its limits but manages to squeeze emotional responses from you all the same. Several other weapons aid it in this game: Oliver Ackermann's sullen voice, Jay Space's weighty, vesuvian drum work and, on the title track, a freshly added female guest vocalist who's a dead ringer for Kimya Dawson. As per the Brooklyn trio's standard MO, their glorious music prefers loud, uncomfortable decibels. But don't get it twisted: they could still crush you with the softest touch.

A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS + THE JOY FORMIDABLE | Paradise Rock Club, 967 Comm Ave, Boston | March 30 @ 7 pm | $15 | 18+ | 617.562.8800 or thedise.com

Related: Review: Joyful Noise, Brite Futures | Dark Past, Cloud Nothings | Attack on Memory, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Boston, Paradise Rock Club, summary,  More more >
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