It was brought to my attention a couple days ago that I listen to mostly dance and electronic music. It was not a fact that I would deny, nor wasn’t aware of, but I have my rock bands too, I swear. Of course if you look back through my music roundups, the evidence there would betray this fact. At first I thought I would do an all rock-John-likes roundup, but decided it against it ultimately. Rather, in this post (a full August roundup will be popping up soon) I’m going to highlight a band that not enough people listen too.
It’s no secret that I am overwhelmingly tired of guitars. I don’t know what it is about them, but something about them bores me to no end. I feel like we’ve drained all the sound we can out of them or perhaps people’s style of playing has become completely monotonous. Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure that guitars and uninteresting drumming have led to my disenchantment with rock music. Of course, there are still a handful of bands that break through my music-asshole attitude to really wow me. Grizzly Bear, for example, totally blows me away by clearly operating in their own little universe. I talk to a lot of people who like them though, and I’m not about to reaffirm peoples preexisting tastes. Nope, I wanna talk about a group who I hardly ever hear my friends talk about: Parts & Labor. More talking, way more rockin’ after the jump!
Now, I’m not trying to be a typical jerk music blog and suggest that nobody listens to these guys and that I’ve been listening to them forever. I haven’t, in fact I had to be more or less forced into listening to them. Something about a band of scruffy dudes from Brooklyn with far too many electronics for two guys turned me off. I was being a jerk here, judging a book by its haggard looking cover. Quite unfair. Once I finally put this on my iPod and took it out for a drive I was kind of floored. This was finally a band that got me excited about rock n’ roll again. There’s elements of noise, hardcore, electronic and pure unadulterated chutzpa, all present to keep my attention-deficit ears occupied.
What do genres matter when it comes to how this stuff makes me feel though? I like music that sounds epic. I like songs that make me feel like every last thing I’m doing is being filmed by Michael Bay so that he can put in some explosions and fighter jets during post-production. Sigur Ros makes me feel this way. MUSE does too. Parts and Labor pass the test as well, and they don’t have nearly the same budget as those guys. I just want to feel something bigger than myself in music, not hear about your lack of a girlfriend over hushy guitars. So, in celebration of their upcoming album “Receivers,” (out in October on Jagjaguwar) let’s take a look at some total asskickings courtesy of Parts & Labor. These first couple are off of Mapmaker because that is the album that slayed me first.
This here is “Fractured Skies,” which might be on my list of favorite-songs-ever. I know if all bands sounded like this, these guys would no longer be special, but I could take a couple more people taking their cue.
Next up is “New Crimes” a song that pulls a complete 180 about a third of the way through, transforming from a loping guitar riff and ambient electronics to a 100% total face shredder.
And finally, a little sneak peak from “Receivers.” I’m giving you one of the (relatively) mellower tracks off of that one, considering the high ass-kick ratio I went for off of “Mapmaker.” This is “Noweheres Nigh”
Oh, and to be a dood for a second, there’s totally a hot chick in the band now. Score!