A Place To Bury Strangers : Worship
The so-called loudest band in New York is back, and this time it’s electronic. A Place To Bury Strangers is the band you want to play at a dinner party to separate the heavy duty wheat from the pissweak pop chaff, the litmus test for appreciating the power, potency and intensity of rock’n’roll in its deepest, darkest psychedelic guise.
And Worship is the next stage in the band’s evolutionary journey. More Krautrock than psychedelic, more Ministry than Velvet Underground, this is an album that demands attention like a barking sergeant slicing through the facade of your pathetic psychological resistance. The opening track Alone sends Al Jourgensen into the corner to take a long hard look at himself; the brutal Mind Control sneers at Killing Joke and threatens physical violence and life-long rehabilitative therapy. You Are The One shadow boxes with Ali-like dexterity, the title track takes stock and offers a temporary reprieve before the gradual crescendo of Fear does exactly what you’d expect, and secretly hope for your troubled mind.
In that context, Dissolved is a surprise – a trip back into the smoke-filled rooms of '80s England, where Ian McCulloch holds court against a backdrop of Thatcherism and social discontent. Why I Can’t Cry Anymore rights the dark ship, replete with shards of noise and an attitude that’s in danger of being criminalised in today’s nanny state; Revenge is straight out anti-social anger, and fuck it’s good. If Simon Katich chose the slightly-pop And I’m Up as the theme song for his return to the Australian cricket team, I’d forgive him for his regular transgressions in technique and general ugliness in style; Leaving Tomorrow is the ultimate dirty electronic-psych-grind fuck-off parting shot, and something to go on with.
Next time you’re offered the chance to DJ at a work or social event frequented by punters with whom you have nothing in common, chuck on Worship. It might just bring surprising results.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Best Track: Mind Control
If Your Like These, You'll Like This: KILLING JOKE, ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN, MINISTRY, and subjecting yourself to a serious aural pounding
In A Word: Brutal