I tapped my ears and wondered why they weren't ringing. Later, they were sore. But standing before noise-rockers A Place to Bury Strangers at the Bowery Ballroom last year, three days before Christmas, it seemed that the self-proclaimed "loudest band in New York" was all brawn and no bite. They'd cut the fat, and now all that remained were sonic steroids: tuneless decibels, looped past any measure of purpose, flagellating an indifferent audience. (Dry shirts at a noise show? Chilling.) The boredom was also onstage—in the marsh of neon-streaked smoke and shoegaze squall, every scream seemed... More >>>