ALBUM REVIEW: “Worship” by A Place To Bury Strangers

June 25. 2012 | By Sean Morris

A Place To Bury Strangers
[Dead Oceans]

Brooklyn workhorses A Place To Bury Strangers are an amalgam of every renowned post-punk, gothic, industrial, and shoe-gaze outfit from the era of Reagan and Thatcher. They’re too talented to be branded a nostalgia act, yet too repetitive to elevate past the ground floor of a genre that they helped revive. Worship, the band’s third album, is more of the same in a good and not so great way.

Polished melodies and feedback argue throughout, frequently drowning out Oliver Ackermann’s emotionally detached drone. Sometimes this ongoing dispute produces blissful dissonance. “Mind Control” coats racing thumps with runaway train-like whistles and screeches. “Why I Can’t Cry Anymore” is even more feverish, a twister of distorted guitars and skittering rhythms that prompts our hero to murmur that “everything is crashing all around.”

Tracks such as these are invigorating individually, but lose distinction next to a half-dozen similar-sounding compositions. Luckily, APTBS’ pensive side breaks up the monotony. “Dissolved” is the unruly child of the power ballad, all soothing bass and whiny licks before abruptly throwing a temper tantrum dance party. Standout “Slide” infuses surf rock with a menacing, stuttering beat. Worship has the right parts, but ultimately struggles to come up with the sum.

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