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Album Review: A Place to Bury Strangers - 'See You Through'

Updated: May 4, 2023

Dissonance, collisions of sound, “massive walls of chaos,” and “audio annihilation.” (I stole the last two descriptions from the press release.) Racing percussion and pulling/dragging/heavy guitar rips through the façade of the commercial world like a twentysome’s anxiety. Pounding for shrieking. Migraine inducing. Bulging temporal arteries ready to pop. That’s what this band will feel like when I state that I kept hearing jam band in the songs on See Through You.

“Nice Of You To Be There For Me” starts out with the speed and intensity I want to hear. Yes, in 2022, the country is at war with each other over the Pandemic. To wear a mask; to not wear a mask. A march against mandates as hospital employees are at their wits ends after seeing many deaths from refusing the vaccine. The rich getting richer from the sick. Cities should play this album along their streets like Christmas music. It is a perfect soundtrack to the frustration felt.

I should bring up abortion, religion, sexual harassment in the workplace, and the fact that our society is built on the illness, debt, and ignorance of our culture. The climate crisis and global warming do not soothe our sick souls. Conspiracies and fake everything. “Let’s See Each Other” is the modern-day love song. A Place To Bury Strangers, do you hate this review yet?

There is no radio play for any song on this album. But that’s not what this band wants. “Something inside you just ain’t right/Something inside you just ain’t right/ Something inside you just ain’t right/ Something inside you just ain’t right.” From the outside, it seems like A Place To Bury Strangers is pushing people away. See Through You is unnecessary stress. Yet, layers in these songs make the complication interesting for the seasoned listener. That’s the point. Shoegaze, punk, and noise are not for everyone. Neither are some types of jazz. I was accused of child abuse for playing Medeski, Martin & Wood’s Tonic while giving my infant son a bath. If I played too many Radiohead songs while bartending, someone would tell me it was making them want to kill themselves. Or put Phish on, anywhere, and people will hate you

If you are from Athens, Ohio, you’ve probably listened to this band, if not seen them live. “Dragged In A Hole” makes me think of The Union. “Anyone But You” is catchy. So is “Broken.” And after listening to almost the entire album, a listener will get to “I Don’t Know How You Do It” and be numb from the shrieking guitar. The lyrics and melody will make it a sappy, sentimental song. “Love Reaches Out” is a tune Phish could cover during set II and not miss a beat. Phans might even ask each other if it is a new song by them. (Some of the guitar even reminds me of Trey in the late nineties.)

Final Thoughts: I had fun writing this review, but I don’t know any other way to do it. I mean, come on. What’s this band looking for? A fluffy article talking about how much they’ve grown musically? No. They want fans to know they are not losing their edge. Once hailed as “the loudest band in New York,” they want their audience to know they are still bringing the noise. And on See Through You, they do.

Favorite Songs: “Nice Of You To Be There For Me,” “So Low,” and “My Head Is Bleeding”

Rating - 4.6/5 (Low’s Hey What is up for a Grammy and made a bunch of Top 10 of 2021 lists, and I like this album more than that one.)

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