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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Place to Bury Strangers returns to fuzzy, poppy ’80s underground sound”

    Place to Bury Strangers returns to fuzzy, poppy 80s underground sound

    On its 2007 self-titled debut, A Place To Bury Strangers’s sound was indebted to The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, with a dash of Nine Inch Nails for good measure. (Indeed, these influences became clearer when they performed with the Mary Chain and NIN in concert.) Songs were swathed in tuneful feedback and machine-like drumming with vocals from Oliver Ackermann that sounded as if they reverberated their way through a metallic underground chamber.

    Now this Brooklyn, N.Y., band has returned with its sophomore effort, Exploding Head, and a new home, Mute Records. Not much has changed since the band’s debut. There’s still the lingering presence of the original shoegazers, massive feedback, wall-crumbling loudness and the dark, somber atmosphere.

    But there are minor changes that make Exploding Head a worthwhile follow-up. Ackermann’s voice is clearer, that is, you can now make out what he’s saying without destroying an eardrum. The sound is more polished, yet it still retains its aggressive feedback. Songs tip more toward melody than noise while still proving to be surprisingly danceable at times. (It sounds as if the band has absorbed some lessons from New Order — never a bad source of inspiration.)

    Exploding Heads sounds like a classic holdover from the early 1990s that has reappeared to remind us that there can be pop music within the white noise.

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