Since 2009 - when they released a Love And Rockets cover and then signed with Mute Records, who released their second album “Exploding Head” – we have heard little from A Place To Bury Strangers, besides their tour and the various singles taken from the album. At the time, the New Yorkers had already chosen to leave the savageness aside and opt for a more immediate and less cannibalistic sound - even though they hadn't radically changed their sound between noise-rock, post-punk and shoegaze. Now they're back with new energy but with the same humour as three years ago, on Dead Oceans, with a new EP, “Onwards On The Wall”.
The first surprise comes with the first two songs, “I Lost You” and “So Far Away”, which at points are reminiscent of “La Malicia De Las Especies Protegidas” and “¿Quiénes Son Los Curanderos?” (by Spanish band Triángulo de Amor Bizarro) respectively. We're not talking about possible plagiarism, far from it, it's just an example of the turn Oliver Ackermann and his men have taken. The guitars are no longer murderous, the wall of sound is practically broken down and the melodies are much better outlined. A process their neighbours Cold Cave have gone through as well. They haven't left the bile at home, but they have calmed down a bit. Now they're closer to bands like Crystal Stilts, on “It’ll Be Alright”, with light influences from garage, but more energetic and aggressive – or like The Soft Moon, but without that brilliant ability to create atmospheres. The title track is possibly the best moment on the record, featuring a female vocal, which adds a touch of sensuality to the track. All in all, these 15 minutes serve to stretch the legacy of The Jesus And Mary Chain some more, with dignity - which the gothic sound fans will be thankful for.