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Tuesday, April 04, 2006
  analogue fright


Parts & Labor: "A Pleasant Stay"
Parts & Labor: "Parts and Labor"

"A Pleasant Stay" comes from Parts & Labor's brand new record, Stay Afraid, which'll be released a week from today, on Tuesday, April 11th, 2006. This is like their third, or second-and-a-half, album, and it's reliably awesome. I wrote this about it a couple weeks ago:
"Musically, I gotta strongly recommend the new album from Parts and Labor, entitled Stay Afraid. It comes out on Brah/Jagjaguwar sometime in the next coupla weeks. These dudes have been thrilling me constantly for a couple years now, and with Stay Afraid said thrills might just be fuckin' lethal. If you think Trans Am would be better served by rockin' out full-force 100% of the time, you might dig Parts and Labor. The kid at the station what reviewed the album compared 'em to Husker Du, which really ain't right at all, exceptin' the similarity in energy levels and general rambunctiousness. I don't get any pissed feeilng from P&L, though, whereas that was like 90% of the Husker Doeuvre."

Now, that kid's Husker Du ref isn't entirely out of line, but that would never be the first comparison to jut outta my noggin. P&L've got that combo of pop hooks and post-hardcore rhythms that defined Husker's mid-period stuff, but then they've also got all this crazy awesome keyboard noise that oversaturates pretty much the whole record. Perhaps their keyboard sound is that instrument's equivalent to Mould's rip-roarin' guitar, but still, there's a gaping sonic chasm 'twixt the two outfits. Basically the Parts & Labor "sound" is a more immediately and consistently catchy strain of the sort of purposefully bewildering keyboard-driven rock propagated by folks like Need New Body, Trans Am, and Oneida. Yes, P&L are usually very catchy and melodic and relatively straight-forwardly poppy, making 'em less noise-rock and more just plain old noisy rock, which is perhaps potentially a better way to exist anyhow.

The song "Parts and Labor" is the group's theme and anthem, and one of the most purely enjoyable pieces of music I've heard in years. It's from the group's first full-length Groundswell, which is completely worthy of buying, as is their split with Tyondai Braxton.
 
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