sun 26/05/2024

A Place To Bury Strangers, Rainbow, Birmingham | reviews, news & interviews

A Place To Bury Strangers, Rainbow, Birmingham

A Place To Bury Strangers, Rainbow, Birmingham

A thrilling ride of howling avant-garde rock’n’roll from the New York threesome

Oliver Ackermaan: a noise terrorist and a gentleman

Dry ice began billowing from the stage of the Rainbow even before the house lights had dimmed and the between-band PA had faded out, allowing New York noiseniks A Place To Bury Strangers to slip behind their instruments unnoticed and burst into set-opener “Straight”, emerging from the fog like mighty sea creatures breaking the waves.

The distorted guitar, laced with feedback, pounding drums and half-heard vocals, buried deep in the mix proved to be a statement of intent and set the tone for an evening which was somewhat lacking in gentle melodies. Guitarist Oliver Ackermann and bass player Dion Lunadon threw themselves around with wild abandon as they tore through tunes culled mainly from their recent, Transfixiation album, while drummer Robi Gonzalez could be barely seen in the fug. That said, he more than made his presence felt with a pounding beat that could bring down buildings.

Early in the set, “We’ve Come So Far” added a shot of adrenaline to proceedings that was like a jolt and even got some of the predominantly 30-something audience moving about. Each song bled into the next in a wail of feedback and distortion, so there was no time for banal mumblings of “How ya doing?” to the audience. A Place To Bury Strangers were caught in the moment as they ripped through “Fear” from 2012’s Worship album and the more recent “I’m So Clean” and took the lion’s share of the audience with them. The tempo only slowed for the malevolent “Deeper” with Ackermann intoning, “If you fuck with me, you’re gonna burn” before another burst of speed whipped things up into a tornado of noise that was not so much played, as ripped from their instruments.

There was nothing that suggested that the band were doing anything by rote

As the dry ice began to clear and the squeals and crashes from the stage subsided, the three members of A Place To Bury Strangers appeared in the middle of the audience armed with boxes of electronics. A sound then began to pulsate from the PA system that initially sounded like original electro-punks Suicide jamming with On-U Sound mainman Adrian Sherwood. An abrasive disco sound became incrementally more distorted with spaced-out sounds and an intense and improvised ever-building weirdness. After 15 minutes, however, the groove finally abated and the house lights went up, leaving many from the crowd reeling in the brightness as they tried to regain their bearings.

A Place To Bury Strangers have occasionally been dismissed in the media as mere proxies for Scotland’s finest, the Jesus And Mary Chain. On the strength of this show, however, nothing could be further from the truth, and there was nothing that suggested that the band were doing anything by rote. This show was a thrilling ride of howling avant-garde rock’n’roll that was full of surprises. Indeed, these surprises weren’t limited to A Place To Bury Strangers’ performance. As the shell-shocked audience made its way out, everyone was sent on their way with a handshake and a word from Oliver Ackermann at the exit – which is a level of customer service that isn’t seen from many bands. Never mind from noise terrorists of this calibre.

The distorted guitar, laced with feedback, pounding drums and half-heard vocals, buried deep in the mix proved to be a statement of intent

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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