Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Concert Review: A Place to Bury Strangers, Paradise Rock Club, March 27

Oh, A Place to Bury Strangers, I want to love you, but you keep breaking my heart. When you gave a leaden performance last fall, I gave you the benefit of the doubt and chalked it up to the venue. I'd never been to the Middle East Upstairs before, so I assumed the room's acoustics were dead. By all appearances, and by the sound of Exploding Head, you were doing everything right. But after seeing you a second time at a different club, one that I know has favorable acoustics, I'm forced to admit that it's your fault.

But let's get specific. I stand by my positive review of Exploding Head. JSpace and Jono MOFO formed a solid rhythm section at the Paradise on Saturday. However, guitarist Oliver Ackermann missed the point on distortion. It should be an accent, not a raison d'etre. The band has recorded distinctive, distinguishable songs, but when the distortion is so overdone, you can no longer tell what is being distorted. It's all just noise. So, Oliver, stop giving the tremolo bar a hand job. Let some semblance of the melody emerge before fucking around with it. Maybe I'll give you another chance and the band can finally live up to the promise of its recordings.

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