Parts & Labor
Bands usually have a core - one or two members who set the direction and usually call the shots. In Parts & Labor, its Dan Friel (vocals/keyboards) and BJ Warshaw (vocals/bass). The trick is getting the right players to build on that foundation. It can be a process.
Since forming in '02, Parts & Labor recorded a 'split' album (with Tyondai Braxton), the full-length "Stay Afraid" ('06) and "Mapmakers" ('07).
With drummer Joseph Wong already on board, Parts & Labor added guitarist Sarah Lipstate. According to the band, the addition of Lipstate freed Friel to delve deeper into Prog Rock influenced keyboard parts.
This line-up recorded '08's "Receivers." Prior to the sessions, Parts & Labor placed an open call on their website for fans to send in sounds which represented things they were afraid of, or what their parents sound like. The band compiled and used them on "Receivers."
Parts & Labor are unapologetic noise merchants. Their songs go in fits and starts (mostly fits) as they slam together electronic noise, scattered melodies, vocals sunk in the mix and incongruous rhythms. From this musical mire a verse or guitar line emerges before it's discarded or buried in the din. It could be argued that this approach fits the post-apocalyptic theme (driven to ruin by over-consumption) that drives "Receivers." Except that this set doesn't differ markedly from previous efforts.
"Receivers" is heralded as Parts & Labor's "The Wall." But getting compared to Pink Floyd is sometimes just a lazy catch-all for a band that'd doing something unconventional. And certainly, that's Parts & Labor. "The Wall" comparison probably originated from the chopper sound effects used on "The Ceasing Now."
"Receivers" has also been termed the group's most accessible album - and with the songs "Nowheres Nigh" and "Wedding In A Wasteland" - that's probably true.
"Mapmaker" and Stay Afraid" are more of the same. Expect the unexpected but there's little to hang on to. "Mapmaker" features "Vision Of Repair" and "King Of The Hill" and "Stay Afraid" has "Drastic Measures."