Eerie, aggressive and destructive are three words that very simply sum up the new release by A Place to Bury Strangers entitled Transfixiation. The album is very guitar effect driven with sounds that are as unnatural as a weeping three headed alien however, you would expect this from a guitarist who has his own guitar effects company, but Oliver Ackermann somehow creates a distinctive melody which encapsulates A Place to Bury Strangers and their sound.

Transfixiation in a nutshell sounds like a mash up of Joy Division, The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine with a hint of Death From Above 1979 thrown in for good measure. This is made clear by second track ‘Straight’ which somehow combines all four of the aforementioned bands with a really prominent bass riff and noisy guitar effects but with a deep texture helped by the echo effect on Ackermann’s vocals. Track ‘Love High’ however sounds like a real mess of effects, which takes away the initial feel of the album. It’s as if the band intended to do it like this, but it almost makes you pull out your headphones and stop listening to the rest of the album.

Ackermann’s vocal style flavoured with various effects is an element of A Place to Bury Strangers that hasn’t left the band ever since their self-titled debut album which some will look at and say that they haven’t progressed musically, but it’s clear that the band know what makes them unique and that is summed up best by track ‘Fill The Void’ which is just an insane wall of noise, distortion and destruction. Transfixiation may be business as usual for A Place to Bury Strangers but for all that they still remain weirdly comforting in a turbulent environment.

Tom Staniszewski


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