A Place To Bury Strangers | Exploding Head

Mute (2009)
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  April 13, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars


When it comes to the resurgence of all things shoegaze, only one question remains: how literal do you want it? If your answer is "very," you can take your pick of Asobi Seksu, the Radio Dept., or Mahogany. If your answer is "so literal that their referents are crushed under the weight of their references," then meet Exploding Head, one of the best guitar albums of the year — even if you feel you've heard this mixtape before.

If you can imagine a giant dam that separated the past decade of tidy rock from the noisy morass of the decade before it, you can now imagine Brooklyn's A Place To Bury Strangers bursting through that dam like the Kool-Aid Man. Pointing out the presence of My Bloody Valentine's influence on a band like this is like citing the influence of Pasteur on milk drinkers, so I'll leave it at that. What glows about Exploding Head are the details — the many strands of shoegaze they hunt down and beat up.

"I Lived My Life To Stand in the Shadow of Your Heart" sounds like a Swirlies song set aflame; "Keep Slipping Away" could be a refugee from the Cure's Head on the Door but for its resin-hit lapses into effects-rack tunnelvision; "Smile When You Smile" balances the Jesus and Mary Chain's reserve with Th' Faith Healers' volatility; "Lost Feeling" claws at its own minimalism. Exploding Head is less an interpretation of a forgotten sound than a restoration of an abandoned mission. Even if you've heard it all before, you certainly haven't heard the end of it.

Related: Photos: Dinosaur Jr. at the Middle East downstairs, Photos: Ra Ra Riot at Paradise Rock Club, Photos: Tegan and Sara at the Ames Hotel, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Pop and Rock Music,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   FOLK ACT  |  June 26, 2010
    Vikesh Kapoor
  •   BOSTON PRIDE WEEK: OFF THE MAP  |  June 07, 2010
    We may seem a little cranky, but us local gayfolk just love a parade, and we’re actually heartened by this annual influx of brothers and sisters from every state of New England and every letter of our ever-expanding acronym.  
  •   THE NEW GAY BARS  |  June 02, 2010
    If I may channel the late, great Estelle Getty for a moment: picture it, Provincetown, 2009, a dashing young man with no discernible tan and an iffy T-Mobile signal languishes bored upon the sprawling patio of the Boatslip Resort.
    If the gradual polishing of Ariel Pink’s sound — and it’s not all that much more polished — puts his loyalists at odds with his albums, I count that as good news.
  •   MORE THAN HUMAN  |  May 26, 2010
    It’s hard to talk about Janelle Monáe when your jaw’s fallen off.

 See all articles by: MICHAEL BRODEUR