Their fifth full-length finds A Place To Bury Strangers converting difficult moments into some of their most urgent work to date.
It’s their first since the 2016 election, and their first since the 2014 closing of Death By Audio, the beloved Brooklyn DIY space where founding guitarist/singer Oliver Ackerman lived, worked, and created with complete freedom.
Pinned opens with “Never Coming Back,” a frightening crescendo of group vocals, vertiginous guitar work, and bassist Dion Lunadon’s unrelenting bass.
“That song is a big concept,” Ackermann says. “You make these decisions in your life.you’re contemplating whether or not this will be the end.
You think of your mortality, those moments you could die and what that means. You’re thinking about that edge of the end, deciding whether or not it’s over.
When you’re close to that edge, you could teeter over.” A couple of years ago, A Place To Bury Strangers made one of those big decisions Ackermann speaks of on “Never Coming Back.” They were in search of a new drummer and Lunadon met Lia Simone Braswell who was playing shows around Brooklyn where she had recently relocated from Los Angeles.
After seeing her play, Lunadon was moved to ask Braswell if she’d want to come to a band practice sometime.
While not only cementing herself as the band’s new drummer, Braswell also contributes vocals on “Never Coming Back” and elsewhere on Pinned, opening up a whole new dimension in the band’s music.
“As things go on, you don’t want them to be stagnant,” Ackermann remarks. “Being a band for ten years, it’s hard to keep things moving forward.
I see so many bands that have been around and they’re a weaker version of what they used to be.
This band is anti-that. We try to push ourselves constantly, with the live shows and the recordings.
We always want to get better. You’ve got to dig deep and take chances, and sometimes, I questioned that.
It took really breaking through to make it work. I think we did that.” It’s a clear and honest statement of intent, not just for everything that follows, but for this band as a whole.