As is often the case with better known bands, when you're an independent blogger it's hard to get a copy of their album to review before it's released. I really wanted to review this one though, to let you know about it, so I've done so by listening to the Spinner stream.
The album explodes in a fury of echoed splendour, attacking from the get-go with Alone. You Are The One takes it down a gear, a heavily textured piece, until the wall of guitars which annihilate, unexpectedly. The song disintegrates into an Alien-sounding barrage of high-pitched squeals.
Mind Control's persistent bass line drives us into the third track, with deep, sonorous vocals riding a wave above the dream-like cacophony. The drumming in this song is solid and takes it to a different level. Yes, this band creates music that is derivative of some punk/goth bands like Joy Division, Echo And The Bunnymen, and The Jesus And Mary Chain for example. But importantly, they make the sound their own. And it's such a sound for now.
Worship cocoons me in noise; the sound is incredible, surrounding me. Reminds me a little of Sonic Youth in parts, mainly due to the vocal intonation. Importantly, bands of this ilk are taking the best of the '80s and '90s alternative scenes and melding them into a gorgeous new genre. Post-punk/shoegaze/darkwave pop, or something like that!
Fear again has that very '80s goth-punk bass line which underpins the wealth of experimentation with guitars. The vocalist guides us through this album with a lot of reverb on his lyrics; he's the constant while the music unravels around him.
Dissolved, a slower song, is more of the same. I could drown in the strange beauty of this music. I am woken from my revery quite suddenly the second Why I Can't Cry Anymore begins, with its insistent beat maniacally shaking me from head to toe. The drum machine seems possessed...the chorus is incredible; guitars pillaging the break.
Revenge takes a more traditional hard rock attitude, blasting me from my immersion in the wall of sound. This song will make punters / club goers break out in a fit of frenzied hurling of bodily parts otherwise known as thrashing. And I'm Up turns a tribal rhythm and jingly jangly guitars into an intriguingly unpredictable number.
Slide forces me to acknowledge the influence of My Bloody Valentine on APTBS's sound. Their quiet, slow songs are incredibly atmospheric and I can imagine listening to them in the dark of night. The sort of music that demands, in some way, the elimination of other external stimulae. Leaving Tomorrow blasts me out of that mindset and back into a pogo, making my body shake and convulse.
Worship is superlative...I haven't been this overpowered by an album in ages. I will be buying it soon.
1. Alone | 2. You Are The One | 3. Mind Control | 4. Worship | 5. Fear | 6. Dissolved | 7. Why I Can't Cry Anymore | 8. Revenge | 9. And I'm Up | 10. Slide | 11. Leaving Tomorrow
ABOUT THE BAND
New York–based | Oliver Ackermann - guitar/vocals | Dion Lunadon - bass guitar | Jay Space - drums
A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS