A Place to Bury Strangers release their third full length Worship today on Dead Oceans, and if you already know them, it’s what you want to hear. If you don’t, it’s an accurate representation of what the band is all about: dark visceral noise and pure drugged out rock and roll. Opener “Alone” immediately hits you with their signature squall of noise. There’s no easing into the album – you’re in the middle of it from the beginning.
When single “You Are the One” comes on after, it’s almost a wonder they didn’t choose that for the album opener, as it feels more of an introduction with the sound more subtle and turned down but gradually increasing in volume. But, if there’s one thing to be said about this band, it’s that their sound is completely awakening. There’s no sleeping to this, and for this effect-loving experimental rock band, starting off with a bang makes sense.
They vary their dark, moody hazed out tones with tunes like “Dissolved,” which begins on a more ethereal tone, creating exactly the kind of mood you would expect form the song title. This song does literally dissolve halfway through before turning into what may be their most upbeat and straightforward track. As a whole, however, the album stays true to the band’s DIY philosophy of blending fuzzed-out noise with melodic lyrics in a way that makes it hard to pick out individual elements of songs because everything is so melded together in a sonic haze.
“Slide” in particular really reaches back to classic 90s alternative and shoegaze bands, invoking comparisons to the Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, and the like. Drum machine beats lead the way into a guitar-driven journey through a twisted mind. It’s the kind of jam to blast at the end of the night with eyes half open. This leads into the last song on the album, “Leaving Tomorrow,” which ends abruptly with the words “I’m leaving tomorrow,” and the music just stops.
The strongest elements of the album are found in the beginning and the end, as Worship starts off in your face, and ends just as dramatically. As a whole, it’s a story, it’s a journey through dark tunnels of the mind, and it ends with a quick lights out. The songs in between all seem to blend together, but in a way becomes an accurate representation of a debaucherous night out. Individual details are hard to recollect, but the overall theme stays in your mind. You can’t describe everything that’s happened, but you know how it made you feel; and upon awakening the next day, you know you have a story to tell.