Take a stroll through a metal foundry while listening for patterns in the sounds made by the machinery and you might hear a bit of the industrial tenor that makes up the noise-rock backdrop for Brooklyn band, A Place To Bury Strangers’ third album Worship.
It may seem unlikely that a sound so seemingly unrefined could be pleasant, but lead singer Oliver Ackermann’s vocals that echo with the dark-pop coloring of The Cure’s Robert Smith lend a fluid element to the music, rendering songs like “You Are The One,” “And I’m Up” and “Slide” impeccably smooth and endearing.
Let’s be clear though. Even with those vocals, Worship is still distinctly a rock album—a divinely devilish rock album that, though disjointed at times, is cohesive enough from start to finish. Occasionally songs start out sounding like a caged bull waiting at the gate. When they do break free into the expanse of beat-driven rock, the tempo struggles to be harnessed.
From song to song, Ackermann’s voice is the glue that keeps the noise together. Sometimes it bounces on top of the music. With angrier songs, his voice bores straight through the center of the synth and guitar.
On Worship, A Place To Bury Strangers successfully blends the heavy rock genre some people find difficult to listen to with enough underlying pop to make it an appealing and unconventional rock album likely worthy of a nod when it comes time for a best of 2012 list.