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A Place to Bury Strangers Get Loud at Music Hall of Williamsburg

June 7th, 2022 |

Photo courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | @Silvia_Saponaro

The intersection of noise-rock, post-punk and shoegaze can be a pretty annihilating place: Coursing sonics, punishing volumes, wave after wave of sound, especially in lesser hands just wanting to kick up an artistic-ish racket because, hey, angsty rebellion or howling catharsis ain’t meant to sound soft. But that isn’t A Place to Bury Strangers, which through their nervy, rewarding 2022 album, See Through You — the dominant strain of the band’s roughly dozen-song set on Monday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg — goes right at that same intersection, but deftly finds something that eludes many similar-sounding acts: heart.

Photo by Gerson Vargas | @thegighunter

Capping a long, four-act bill at Music Hall (featuring performances by Glove, Native Sun, and GIFT), they ripped through much of See Through You, with “Let’s See Each Other,” “Dragged in a Hole” and the scorching “Hold on Tight” as highlights. In every song, they did their face-melting sonic wall return, although it morphed out of (and into) different forms, from the deceptively light boogie that began “End of the Night” to the high-speed theatrics of “I Lived My Life to Stand in the Shadow of Your Heart.” The rhythm section, especially, never faltered; Sandra Fedowitz owned “Have You Ever Been in Love,” whose build began with rat-a-tat drums but instead of surging quickly to screaming peaks, sustained for many minutes in more of a hypnotic, space-rock trance, showing yet another side of how their wall morphs. What’s more, it was bigger than the three of them — a fourth band member was the lights, from the faintest, train-tunnel hints to brain-scrambling strobes. And a fifth band member was the volume: A Place to Bury Strangers aren’t an oooooh but an aaaaaaahhhhhh. And what a peal. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson

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