Sonic warfare… it’s the best way to describe what I see unfolding on Fuzz Club’s stage when A Place To Bury Strangers begin their set.
This is the band’s third visit to Athens after the December 2009 show at the tiny, claustrophobic Rodeo Club and their participation at the last Synch Festival the following summer, which means that we are well prepared as to what we are going to witness. Still, the previous experience doesn’t make it any less thrilling to get caught in the middle of the huge wave of furious sound that they can stir up.
The well-attended Saturday show at Fuzz Club is the band’s biggest one yet in Athens and its main advantage, in comparison to the two previous gigs, is the much bigger stage which gives Ackermann and Lunadon space to move around freely and thrash on their instruments without immediate danger of bodily harm. Also, the impressive light show that accompanies their performance (which should come with a photosensitive seizure-warning) is much more effective in this venue. On the downside, the club’s high ceiling means that we are not getting the full blast of the sound (though someone could argue that this is for our own good), while the vocals seem to be too low in the mix. Technical sound hiccups aside, A Place To Bury Strangers’ third sonic onslaught gets top marks for both intensity of performance and visual presentation.
The 65-minute set, equally divided between their last two albums ("Exploding Head" and "Worship") and the "Onwards To The Wall" EP, was a towering wall of sound with almost no pause for breath or applause between the songs. The individual songs are just pieces of a puzzle that when it is completed, it reveals the true purpose of the A Place To Bury Strangers live experience: to construct a monumental sonic shrine dedicated to the worship of pure Noise. The war they are waging on stage is a holy one - there is no place for unbelievers in their Noise rituals!
|A Place To Bury Strangers, live @ Fuzz Club, Athens (Oct. 20, 2012)|
The evening began with a strong performance by Zebra Tracks who showcased their recent album "Collective Guilt" (see also here). In the space of the year and a half since the last time I saw them live, it is obvious that the band has taken some big steps forward. Their stage presence is confident and with their solid new material that strikes a skillful balance between melody and guitar noise, they seem ready to reach a wider audience.
|Zebra Tracks, live @ Fuzz Club, Athens (Oct. 20, 2012)|