Leave it to a maker of boutique guitar pedals to be the key cog in a band that has been crowned the "loudest band in New York" (and google apparently agrees). Oliver Ackermann is said individual, and along with providing guitars and vocals in the band A Place To Bury Strangers, he builds custom guitar pedals under the fitting name Death By Audio. Although the group has been kicking around for some time now, with many of the songs on this release floating around as MP3s and CDRs, this ten track album is the official debut and it's a stark slash to the head compared to just about everything out there.
Comparisons can be drawn to Pornography-era Cure, Jesus And Mary Chain, and even the blistering sonics of My Bloody Valentine. As a three-piece group, they create a hell of a racket (perhaps only rivaled by The Psychic Paramount), and the pedals by Ackermann are at the forefront of it all, turning his guitar into a screeching, blistering, assault of sound at times. "Missing You" kicks things off and sets the tone early with a somewhat tinny rhythm section offset by soaring verses and absolutely scorching choruses. Ackermann sings in an almost robotic monotone, and it fits well within the context of the music. On "Don't Think Lover," the Loveless-era comparisons are definitely warranted as guitars heave and groan like they're going to rip up the floorboards in places while the group launches into almost dry post punk sections in other places.
"To Fix The Gash In Your Head" mingles drum machine beats, almost industrial buzzsaw guitars, and more of Ackermann's completely cool and detached vocals into a furious song with twisted lyrics that should fuel goth clubs for years to come. "I Know I'll See You" is eerily Cure-esque, with the same brittle rhythm section and hollow vocals, while splashes of heatwave guitars wash over everything in places.
The production on the release is done in a way that emphasizes the fury of the guitar, and in addition to sounding over-compressed, the treble is near tweeter-shredding at times. It's a seriously uneasy listen in places, with a sort of lo-fi retro sound that gives the album the feel of being a couple decades old. If you get your kicks off any of the aforementioned bands, you will definitely want to hunt this one down ASAP. It's a kick in the pants debut, and here's hoping they carve their own unique sound out even more in the future.