A Place to Bury Strangers
A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS
A Place To Bury Strangers have often been called "the loudest band in New York". This may very well be the case, but unlike much so-called "loud" rock and roll that's out there, APTBS is not loud simply for the sake of it. The sonically overdriven sound they've accomplished is no clumsy accident, but a carefully cultivated and well-maintained entity all its own, fostered by an unbridled passion that's clearly evident in every live show they play and each recording they make. A Place To Bury Strangers does not so much play songs as allow them to pour out. They are songs about longing, heartbreak and confusion played extremely well and at a passionately loud volume.
While there are obvious reference points: Pornography-era Cure, early Ride, My Bloody Valentine, and pre-1990s Jesus and Mary Chain, the sound is all their own, in part due to singer/guitarist Oliver Ackermann's day job of building custom guitar pedals (see deathbyaudio.net). Coupled with the solid bass of Jono Mofo and the relentless drumming of Jay Space, the APTBS team is a force to reckon with.
Since forming in 2004, A Place to Bury Strangers had been developing its stellar live reputation in New York City by its constant bombardment of shows. In early April of 2007 the band was rewarded with the opportunity to open for one of their major influences, the Jesus & Mary Chain at Webster Hall. This was quickly followed by another high profile opening slot for the Brian Jonestown Massacre at same venue.
Following the release of their self titled debut album in August of 2007 on Killer Pimp Records, the band accrued rave reviews in a numerous publications including a Best New Music and an 8.4 rating in Pitchfork. The album wound up being one of the top 20 best reviewed records of 2007 according to Metacritic and won Rock album of the year on Tunecore.
The band then rocketed into public consciousness in 2008. Highlights include a full US/Canadian tour with Holy F**k in February/March and being THE band to see at SXSW. This was followed in May by their first full European/UK which culminated in a legendary appearance at the Primavera Festival in Barcelona. That summer the band were handpicked by Trent Reznor to support Nine Inch Nails on an arena tour of the US and appeared at the Oya Festival where they got to play with another of their heroes, the recently reunited My Bloody Valentine. The band spent that fall on another US tour, this time as headliners, followed by a full European tour supporting MGMT in November that culminated in a triumphant sold-out headlining performance at London's ICA in December.
There is no doubt that 2009 will be A Place to Bury Strangers best year yet. The band has recently signed a worldwide deal with Mute Records and are currently at work on their second album. They've also recently been confirmed to perform at Coachella in April, which will be preceded by another headlining UK/European tour.
Nevermind the constant threat of a cease and desist letter, when Carrie Brownstein tells you that your band name is weak, you change it. But it isn't as simple as a name change for Philadelphia's minimal noise pop duo Reading Rainbow, significant line up additions facilitated the adoption of a new moniker. So...drum roll please...as we reintroduce Philadelphia's Bleeding Rainbow, now a full-blown, Brownstein-approved, rock quartet. The name better represents the band's evolving sound and is all around more badass and trippy as sh*t. The founding members, Sarah Everton, who moved from drums to bass to give her vocals a better chance to shine, and vocalist/guitarist Rob Garcia are now joined by Al Creedon on lead guitar and drummer Greg Frantz.
While 2010's album release Prism Eyes gained significant attention and raised the band's profile among the indie elite, even that set might not be aware of the previous self-released album Mystical Participation. If Prism Eyes is, by their own description, their attempt at writing pop songs, and Mystical Participation emphasizes an aesthetic of loud and drone-y guitars instead of focused song structure, Yeah Right, the band's third album release set for October 9th, 2012 on Kanine Records, is the merging and maturation of all these ideas and sounds.
For Yeah Right, the band has opted for a bi-polar approach to production, pushing the extremes of murky, ominous and sometimes harsh and fuzzed-out guitar onslaughts ("Pink Ruff") as well as a strong repertoire of hushed, ethereal moments ("Cover the Sky") aiming to evoke a nostalgia for 90s slacker culture without sounding bored or contrived. While previous releases reside in the reverb-soaked psychedelic pop realm, Bleeding Rainbow says, "the sound this time around was more directly influenced by bands from our teenage-hood such as Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and Yo La Tengo to name a few." Mixing hints of Greg Sage's anthemic, anxiety-ridden punk riffs, with equal parts drone and noise swells reminiscent of Kevin Shields at his most inventive, with an overlaying of boy-girl harmonies, Bleeding Rainbow channels the Mamas and the Papas as if backed by early Smashing Pumpkins.
With the inclusion of two long time friends and supporters of the band, Bleeding Rainbow has not only freed itself from the limitations of a two-piece, but given themselves a chance to delve deeper into the mood of songs and allow for extended instrumental sections ("Drift Away"). A more collaborative songwriting approach has resulted in more complex songs, but that does not mean they are without pretty sounds or pop moments. So while Yeah Right opens up easy and welcoming ("Go Ahead"), the end will leave you feeling as if a wall of noise has permeated through your body ("Get Lost"). Bleeding Rainbow set out to create something beautiful from harsh noise, and Yeah Right succeeds wildly at doing just that.
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