Published on January 23rd, 2020

A place to bury strangers would be a scuzzy, nondescript kind of barren area that’s easily accessible by car and with a reliable tide that rolls in early the next morning to wash away your sins. Think the New York City of the 1970’s that has forever blessed its denizens with a history of bad attitudes, rude behavior and ultimate cool.

Apt then, that A Place to Bury Strangers (APTBS) is a band in a chaotic spin recreating that New York City which lives in the grooves of Suicide and early Sonic Youth recordings; recalling the grimy exterior of CBGB and the sticky heat of summer.

Formed in 2002 by David Goffan and Tim Gregorio – and immediately joined by current front man and guitarist Oliver Ackerman – APTBS is a machine with its hood always up. Goffan and Gregorio made early exits, leaving Ackerman to soldier through various lineups before arriving at its current incarnation as a trio with bassist Dion Lunadon joining in 2010 and drummer and vocalist Lia Braswell joining in early 2018.

Loud as all get out, they mix a toxic brew of post-punk, shoegaze, noise and varying degrees of experimental and psychedelic rock into an almost industrial din. It’s no surprise that they’ve routinely been heralded as their city’s loudest act and one of its best.

This isn’t to say APTBS heralds a major awakening in NYC’s scene, or in music in general. Their lyrics take a backseat to the instrumentalization. Vocals are, if anything, a compositional necessity to humanize the output. What gets them the accolades is the drive, energy and will to explore.

In their fifth and latest album, Pinned, Braswell provides a solid counterpoint to Ackerman in the first instance of a second vocal in the band’s recorded work. She brings a bit of air and fresh flexibility to his deadpan grit. Make no mistake, she’s a powerhouse on the kit, matching the band’s raucousness, and this album is enjoyable independent of how they present it live — a welcome evolution for a band nearing the 20-year mark.

A Place to Bury Strangers performs Thursday February 6 at Respectable Street, West Palm Beach with Glass Body, Ghostflower and Deathbirds. aplacetoburystrangers.bandcamp.com ~ Abel Folgar ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY $5

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