Like his artistic forebears in The Jesus and Mary Chain, A Place to Bury Strangers’ Oliver Ackermann knows how to do one thing, and does it well. When it comes to taking a song and drenching it in squalls of feedback, few contemporary musicians can make their amps bleed and howl, as consistently and viciously as Ackerman can.
That fidelity to “classic” noise rock has garnered them a fair share of criticism. In a review of their latest album Pinned, Pitchfork called the band a group of “historical actors reanimating the New York of Suicide and Sonic Youth.” This isn’t an unwarranted jab: Every APTBS album feels like an attempt on the band’s part to turn back the clock to the age when No Wave bands, and a pre-rape-accusation Michael Gira, still walked the earth.
But the band have made changes to their sound: The recent addition of Les Butcherettes’ Lia Braswell on drums and backing vocals has added a welcome new element to the band’s sonic maelstrom. Her voice adds a much-needed dash of cool and sweetness to the mix. For the first time, Oliver’s voice isn’t the only thing struggling to be heard over their shrieking guitars.
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A Place to Bury Strangers perform Wednesday, June 6, at Valley Bar. Tickets are $15-$17 at ticketfly.com.