When the New York based ear-shattering trio A Place to Bury Strangers released their self titled debut album back in 2007, the general response was we love all that crazy sound and reverb but stripped down there's much there. Frontman Oliver Ackerman could easily argue well that's the point, I mean the man sells customized pedals out of his Brooklyn based business Death By Audio for a day job. But in two years the band has done some growing and with the release of their much anticipated sophomore album, Exploding Head, the spaced out noise attack is still there, but something new has defiantly been growing underneath.
From the get go, Exploding Head offers some unexpected surprises. The record opens with "It Is Nothing" which showcases Ackerman really singing a coherent melody atop a morbid soundscape and opening the band's sound up to a new realm of listenablility. The sound bombarding shoe-gazing gold continues with songs like "Keep Slipping Away" and "Exploding Head". Tracks like "Lost Feeling" creep up more slowly until the pulsing wall of sound looms over the darkness, or as Ackermann put it "like a monster running around that finally catches its prey". One big highlight of the album is the track "Ego Death" which slightly veers away from their new more polished melodies and utterly devastates the chorus with a waterfall of sonic murk.
Exploding Head, released October 6 by Mute Records, is definitely a more tamed sound in comparison to their debut, but APTBS's cool paranoid danger isn't removed in the process, its channeled into something more sophisticated and somehow more sinister.