A Place to Bury Strangers, Liturgy, Total Slacker, Royal Baths
Brooklyn, NY, 11211-4119
This event is all ages
A Place to Bury Strangers
Noise is like death; they are both prone to speculations about what might or might not might be there, falsely perceived or deceptively real. They require a free fall of faith. In noise, you may choose to land lovingly on melody or you may stay lost in the technicolor grey sheets of teeth-on-glass distortion. If purgatory were an airport, APTBS' Oliver Ackermann would be the voice echoing through the abandoned terminals leading you to your departure, the sky above the runway filled with jets like a swarm of metallic locust. And that bass has got you feeling like riding a torpedo into Atlantis. It's enough to make the kids in back overtake security and rip up the front row seats and throw them into a bonfire because nobody can sit down to this shit anyway. This isn't the music to pick up the pieces, it's about calling bad luck bullshit and shattering that mirror into more pieces than there are empty coke bags in Brooklyn. It's safer than chemicals but it gives you the same high. It's a one sided argument; a thousand turbines aimed at a million megaphones in the bottom of the Grand Canyon aimed at your neighbor's window. Running lawnmowers dropped into a pool full of aluminum cans. A hail of light bulbs on a tin roof. This is infinte night, a dragstrip of mirrors, speed without end, amen
Brooklyn based Liturgy is Hunter Hunt Hendrix, Greg Fox, Tyler Dusenbury, and Bernard Gann. Aesthethica, their second album and third release, shows the band exploring, in greater depth, themes initially touched on by their critically acclaimed debut album, Renihilation. The band used every instrument, literal or figurative, to produce meaning and intensity, disregarding the genre boundaries of black metal, hardcore and experimental music.
On Renihilation, Liturgy made use of simple song structures, and concentrated on sustaining a blindingly high intensity level from start to finish. Aesthethica, a more controlled and polyvalent effort, finds the band operating at multiple levels and using more varied forms. The music is both elaborately crafted and chaotically performed. Songs often begin in the form of a simple chant or hypnotic abstraction, then evolve into something dense and complex. A constant sensitivity to the states of attention that different musical patterns activate and foster, yields a paradoxical result: the more complex the music, the simpler the message. Cycling through the fundamental modes of being: stasis, chaos, repetition and entelechy, Aesthethica is a metaphorical exercise in affirmation.
The record is a unified whole. A major concern, sonically and lyrically, is the question of what it is to be meaningful, and how intensity relates to emotion or affect. Many of the songs activate and manipulate cliches relating to heroism, tragedy, hope, and so on by connecting black metal techniques to the spirit of film score writing (Vangelis, Badalamenti) and post-Romanticism (Scriabin, Sibelius). "High Gold" presents a vision of apocalypse, "Harmonia" presents a judgment on the meaning of life, and so on. The resulting collection of songs, at once, embodies and transcends these tropes. The music is supersaturated with lofty melodies and lyrics, bursting with frenzied execution, and builds to a boiling point of chaos, distorting all meaning and distilling to reveal the raw core of pure sonic joy. Liturgy surrounds these fractured islands of meaning with a sea of a-signifying ritual repetition and sound (Branca, Sleep, Lightning Bolt). Tear at the seams of the straitjacket of ordinary life, release the energy from the field of potentiality that it binds, enter the realm of the good and the beautiful, so commands Aesthethica.
Highly technical musicianship, poetico-mystical gesturing, and a minimal directness; all singular elements, whose interactions and reactions are contained in and bursting from a black metal framework. Revelatory contrasts presented in an intensely physical performance whose energy is palpable and whose abatement is as illuminating as its arrival.
"...a very lascivious sound and hovering vocals...Listless and languid phrasing." - Anthony Mansuy/ ROLLING STONE July-2010
"Front man Tucker Rountree manages to echo both Thurston Moore and Lou Reed with his half-sung, half-spoken lyrics about being young, broke, and in love." - Jamie Peck / Village Voice -July 2011
If the Velvet Underground were to take a dark depressing trip down a rabbit hole, then they might end up sounding like Royal Baths. However, Royal Baths have risen from said hole and bring with it an aggressive edge that keeps their tunes from being anything but melancholy. Their recent offering, Litanies, came out on the New York Label Woodsist late last year and has been generating headlines. A lengthy listen is recommended, as it is one of those rare gems that stand heavily on not one song, nor two, but the complete set.