20 Watts


Emerging Artists, Week 2: Parts & Labor by 20watts
February 20, 2008, 3:52 am
Filed under: Emerging Artists | Tags: ,

My taste in music usually leans more in the direction of harmonious indie pop rather than noisy experimental rock. But I owe the band Parts & Labor for convincing me that noise can also be melodic.

The three-piece from Brooklyn create an epic sound that belies its small size. Dan Friel plays guitar, and BJ Warshaw plays bass. Frieland Warshaw both contribute vocals, as well as keyboard and electronics. Joe Wong has been playing drums in the band since September, replacing Christopher Weingarten. The result: punk rock enough for a basement house show, but good enough to be on constant repeat.

Parts & Labor have released three full-length albums. The band’s most recent album is Mapmaker, released in 2007 on Jagjaguwar/Brah records. On that album, the track “The Gold We’re Digging,” opens with distorted electronics and frenetic drums, layered with intense vocals, and the song’s momentum continues to build. In just under three minutes, Parts & Labor convinced me I wanted to hear more.

“New Buildings,” from their 2006 album Stay Afraid, toes the line between punk, rock, and electronica, but the band still manages to craft a head-bobbing melody.

Their music might move you, and possibly the walls too. When Parts & Labor performed on Chicago Public Radio’s “Sound Opinions,” it was the first time the station sent out an official warning to employees about the band’s noise level. That sound, albeit loud, is part of what makes Parts & Labor so compelling.

According to the band’s website, they have a new EP coming out on AceFu Records, featuring 51 super fast pop songs recorded last year over Memorial Day Weekend. Parts & Labor are currently on a U.S tour, and playing two shows in Austin next month during South by Southwest. Based on You Tube videos of the band, it looks like they match their music’s energy with rocking live performances.

– Christina

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