With actual My Bloody Valentine back on the scene, and — if live reviews are to be trusted — basically living up to the massive expectations for such a reunion, the pressure is on newer shoegazers to keep up. This could be why A Place to Bury Strangers, always one of the best of that crop, seem to be making their live closing epic “Ocean” even longer and more epic.
The epileptically strobe-highlighted noise swells and frontman Oliver Ackerman’s elementally shambling guitar-smashing finale remain same (and impressive) as ever, but Monday at the Williamsburg Hall of Music, he actually went through two guitars. Just when the performance would normally be crawling to a close, one guitar lying forlorn, discarded in a slurry of chords and homemade disto pedals, Ackerman leapt offstage and returned with a second instrument, allowing the song, and wanton (though presumably feigned) destructive to continue for several more minutes.
The band was also playing several new songs this time around, b-sides from the trio of new 7″s the band is selling on the current tour, each pairing an album track with a new b-side. I gravitated towards the one featuring the oft-overlooked “Breath” and new opener “Runaround” (available on their Myspace) and was in no way disappointed.