In their most recent release since signing to Dead Oceans, A Place To Bury Strangers is back with a vengeance. Onwards To The Wall is a noise rock explosion with the darkest of pop hooks thrown in. A Place To Bury Strangers takes the best parts of Depeche Mode and The Joy Formidable and combines them to create a sound twice as powerful.
The bass-heavy EP begins with haunting lo-fi vocals paired with dominant drums that twists the arm of generic pop music in their favor. The extraordinary first song, “So Far Away” merely gives one a taste of what to expect as the release continues on. The trio amps up the emotion with the title track. An uptempo drumbeat starts off the number, which eventually leads into a chilling yet seductive duet between Oliver Ackerman and an unidentified femme fatale. The hot piece conveys a feeling that is almost similar to being murdered by a lover, but in the most sensual way possible.
Although “Nothing Will Surprise Me” started out on the right foot with the distorted guitars, it ended up being my least favorite cut on Onwards To The Wall. The distortion becomes overwhelming and Ackerman’s dreary yet dreamy voice is sent to the background. Following such a sultry song is the fatal flaw of the tune. The EP ends with the loudest, most chaotic, distorted and upbeat piece on the disc. To some, “I Lost You” might be undesirable because of the factors mentioned above, but for others it’s a diamond.
Onwards To The Wall brings together classic sounds mixed with modern techniques turned up to Mach-five to create an album that is savory, emotive, and all around wild ride. But once the ride is over, one will be begging to get back on it.