A Place to Bury Strangers: See Through You

Climax is a French film about dancers in an isolated location who unknowingly take LSD and lose their minds. The music featured is not quite as deafening as anything from New York’s loudest band, but the candy colored noir is a decent metaphor for a band as volatile as A Place to Bury Strangers. This is to say that the stimuli brought together from each part being played and level of noise that is reached can become overwhelming. However the most difficult part of the whole experience is averting your eyes as a spectacular rainbow of trauma unfurls.The psychedelic sounds explored on See Through You replicate the disenchantment caused by overstimulation\social or otherwise.

Nearing another decade of misery stricken, gear-freak-oriented releases, their continuous exploration impresses above all else. Consistency and depth in songwriting are achieved at less impressive rates. See Through You has the unexplored heights and familiar downfalls that can be expected from one of their releases. The strange new effects that come with each album can be attributed to Oliver Ackerman, leader of the band and founder of Death by Audio. There is no doubt about whether or not he believes in the name of his brand, his music can be chalked up to a valiant attempt at pummeling the listener with noise of any sort.

See Through You is unexceptional in many ways. One positive way is that it meets the same extremity that has been set as the standard since their debut self titled album. “Nice of You to Be There For Me” begins the album with effects that feel like listening to the gears in an elevator squeaking against each other as fluorescent lights flicker on and off.

The success of the hedonism brought by the first song is unfortunately misleading. There are points where the songs begin to blend together to the point of feeling like choice white noise for the clinically insane. This should be a compliment, but ultimately tracks such as “Ringing Bell” and “So Low” are woefully forgettable. Other issues crop up during tracks where Ackerman tries to demonstrate his more caring, less nihilistic tendencies. “Love Reaches Out” and “I Don’t Know How You Do It” both ride on the more sugary side of melodrama rather than the usual Morrissey-esque tone of any other APTBS song. It is hard to tell if they are meant to be uplifting dance cuts or if we are meant to fall in love to the rhythm of stark uplifting melodies.

Despite the missteps that are bound to crop up on any A Place To Bury Strangers’ album, there are some highlights on See Through You. Most songs that aren’t highlights do what they are meant to do for anyone who considers themselves a fan. And the awkward parts are not unlistenable, rather they demonstrate the character of the band. APTBS get something out of the music they make that goes beyond fan reactions. They are a cult favorite that has earned every right to put out a confounding, danceable, and intriguing record in their seniority.

Rating: 6.5/10

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