Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Place to Bury Strangers

First off, great fucking band name. Sounds like it would be metal, but it's not. What we have here is the debut album from a band out of NYC. This is shogazer music in the vein of all the 90s bands that created the style (Spaceman 3, My Bloody Valentine, Ride, etc.) The guy who sings and plays guitar apparently is some kind of electronics wiz who makes all of his own pedals. He really is good at it, as the thick, distorted, dreamy, wall of sound guitars he conjours up is worth the price of admission alone. Sonically this stuff sounds great. It's fairly low-fi, but with the kind of distortion and feed back this guy is working with, it mixes perfectly.
So the first time I listen to this I am really blown away. I haven't heard these kind of tunes since the 90s and these guys do them well. Second listen and I start hearing pieces that sound awful familiar. Third listen and I'm coming up with the songs that these here sound like. The first song is a dead-ringer for Clinic. It has the distorto-surf, menacing vibe these Brits have been doling out for years. The second song has a major part that is very reminicient of songs by both Swervedriver and the Swirlies. The fifth and sixth songs could be lost Jesus and Mary Chain b-sides. I hear the Cure, Joy Division, and Ride. All bands sound like their influences, but the really good ones do it in a way where what you are hearing has been put in a certain context that the listener finds familiar, but what he or she hears doesn't automatically recall other sounds.
Am I saying this is not a good band? Hell no, they rock. I think as they continue to write songs, they have a great chance to move past these debut album sound-alikes to achieve something in this style that is uniquely them. I hope so at least because I want to hear it.
If you dig loud sounds that have prettiness to them and good solid shoegaze style rock music, definitely buy this. I'm planning on checking them out in March at the Rock and Roll Hotel and am hoping for a deafening and dreamy experience.

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