“Fucked up” is a phrase Oliver Ackermann likes to use to describe music, especially the music made by his band A Place to Bury Strangers. “Loud” is a word that critics like to use for APtBS’ music. This could drive some listeners away, but as any connoisseur of the seedier side of life can tell you, the loud and fucked up can also be beautiful.
A Place to Bury Strangers pull from a range of influence that includes, most obviously bands from the gothier end of the spectrum, like the Jesus and Mary Chain, Bauhaus and even Sisters of Mercy. But influences like the Ramones, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and ‘60s rock and pop also surface. And surfacing is an appropriate word for many aspects of APtBS’ sound as Ackermann and bandmates create an ocean of sound, often augmented via pedals created by Ackermann’s own guitar effects company Deathy by Audio, wherein bass lines and guitar riffs can seem to surface like jagged rocks on the coast.
A Place to Bury Strangers will be returning to the Grog Shop on September 27 (Freedom and rad Cleveland quartet HotChaCha will be opening), and I am looking forward to be awash in sound, happy for the throbbing in my head that will drive the rest of the world away for a while. For a taste of what you can expect from the Brooklyn-based trio, checkout this live in-studio version of the gorgeous “Ocean” that APtBS created for KEXP.