A Place to Bury Strangers, “Straight”

Amelia Pitcherella

In the wake of the final show at Death By Audio, which had been frontman Oliver Ackermann’s project and home, it’s doubtless an unsettled time for A Place to Bury Strangers. In spite of all this, they’ve got a full-length record on its way, the first since 2012’s Worship, and it promises a meaner, more distorted and rich approach to their already intense brand of psych rock. If these guys sounded pleasantly strange and dangerous before, it seems they’ve only been working to transcend their old thresholds in thrilling ways.

The video for “Straight” is a testament to this, a mesmerizing collage that merits repeat watches. It’s transfixing from the outset, meshing together all manner of freaky imagery—growing skyscrapers, vultures, floating bodies, artists’ renderings of Bigfoot—that overlap in strange and jolting ways. Through static computer goop we see Ackermann staring out at us, giving us each line through his warped world; images saturate the screen increasingly faster and the distorted blasts and blips of sound keep on coming. It might be total sensory overload were it not for the steady anchor of the song with its constant muffled guitar line underpinning Ackermann’s low drawl as he repeats the line, “You got you.”

Transfixiation will be out February 17 via Dead Oceans.

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