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Wednesday, July 9, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 59.0° F  Fair
Music

TOUR STOP

A Place to Bury Strangers' shoegaze is both dark and light
Opposites attract

Sweet melodies, sour lyrics.
Sweet melodies, sour lyrics.
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Much like their heroes, the Jesus & Mary Chain, deafening shoegazers A Place to Bury Strangers smear a heavy coat of sonic mascara on their fans. The group get an extra layer of darkness from their name: A reference to a graveyard purchased with the silver Judas received for selling Jesus, it's a moniker from which no light can escape. Their lyrics often possess just as bleak an outlook, but their sweet melodies and pop sensibilities can cut through the gloom. Here's a closer look at some words from their new album, Worship, which they'll bring to the Frequency Nov. 13.

'You Are the One'

Though they've toned down the intensity a little on Worship, the band stand on an imposing wall of guitar noise for this song, thanks in part to the effects pedals frontman Oliver Ackermann designs. A world-ending sound matches lines like "It disappears into the sky/I'm on road/About to die/I break my face/I break my life." It's a full-speed-ahead anthem with no destination other than oblivion.

'Why I Can't Cry Anymore'

Atop a pounding bassline and engine-pumping drums, searing guitar screeds lash out, threatening to crack the pavement. But Ackermann doesn't seem concerned about the destruction. Instead he uses his Ian Curtis-style yawn to unfurl dorky goth poetry like "Don't look up/Terror fills the sky/And I hope that you are quite prepared to die." It's melodramatic, to say the least, but it communicates Ackermann's depressing point and doesn't slow down this screeching machine of a song.

'To Fix the Gash in Your Head'

Leaning toward an industrial edge with flesh-eating synths and a sharp, stabbing drumbeat, "To Fix the Gash in Your Head" cranks up the violence and tops it off with a scary chorus. Made all the more eerie by Ackermann's lazy voice, which infuses each word with a sense of boredom, threats like "I'll just wait for you to turn around/And kick your head in" should be taken seriously.

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