Tuesday, 1 March 2011

REVIEW: Parts And Labor - Constant Future

Parts and Labor are a band that were completely unknown to me up until about two weeks ago, and upon hearing the very fine opening track on this album I decided to check out what the rest was like. Powered by unusual drum patterns, power pop tendencies and peculiar keyboards, some of this is very good indeed. Opening track 'Fake Names' is one of the stand-outs, with its strange, precise rhythms and along with the driving, hypnotic 'Rest' and 'Hurricane' is the best track on the album. There are often elements of drone-rock in amongst what could possibly be described as dirge-y, but they manage to make it seem colourful and melodic. The bursts of heavy guitar and random rhythms are calmed by the folk-like arrangemnts of the hazy vocals, which makes for a nice contrast. Hints of space rock and power pop creep into the likes of 'A Thousand Roads' and 'Pure Annihilation', while 'Skin And Bones' is a slow burning, repetitive chant The synth sounds are rather odd, sounding like guitars at times, but when they're used on every single track it starts to sound a tad homogenized in places. And some of the songs suffer from unfortunate songwriting, for example 'Outnumbered' which is free of any charm, good melody or good atmosphere. It does have good drums though.

Weak in places and sometimes just too boring, but when they do hit good form they do it very well, with at least 7 very pleasing tracks, that are often kept at just the right length.


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