Promises, Promises

Ok, so I promised to describe what, in my not so humble opinion, is “wrong” with the new A Place to Bury Strangers record, “Exploding Head.”  That’s the album cover right down there:

Above: Clap Harder!

The problem is not so simple.  The problem is that you can’t listen to the thing anywhere except your car, or maybe out in a field somewhere.  Work?  Not unless you want to get fired.  Home?  Not unless you want your neighbors to hate  you.  iPod buds?  Please.  Thing is, there’s not enough sound for how loud the thing is.  And in this case, loud does not make it better.  It just makes it louder.  Don’t get me wrong; there are more than a couple really good songs.  But gone is the melody-under-distortion-made-famous-by-Psycho-Candy sound of the first joint.  It’s just gone.  The Jesus and Mary chain got more melodic as they went along.  And then BRMC buried them for their efforts.  APtBS has gotten less melodic, and what you have left is a heavy, industrial effort akin to early Ministry.  Which is fine.  But not if you are trying to appeal to indie rock nerds.

That said, I suspect that a  lot of indie rock nerds will dig “Exploding Head” just fine.  For one reason, the band’s indie cred is already well-established, and even being in a car commercial won’t change that (as we’ve seen amply).  For another, the dreaded P4k told them not to.  That would normally be reason enough, but I wasn’t in the mood this time.  I still like it.  Technically it’s solid.  It’s tight.  It’s arranged like a proper rock record.  But what is “correct” about the record is ultimately what is also “wrong” with it.  Gone is the anxiety and holy-shit-ness.  With a titled like “Exploding Head,” I would expect a crime scene, but all I got was CSI-style effects.

This on the other hand:

Above: the best record you don't own

The release by Austin, TX’ (yes, I know) White Denim – “Fits”.  Just too fucking good, yo.  I don’t feel like talking about it; just listening to it alot.  Maybe I’ll give “Exploding Head” another listen.

 

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