Artist of the Week: Parts & Labor

Experimental noise-rock outfit Parts & Labor has been making waves in their hometown of Brooklyn since their formation in 2002, with a favorable New York Times review under their belt, as well as substantial blog buzz.  With a hardcore background and a penchant for noises of all types, Parts & Labor has developed their sound into a psychedelic blend of punk, electro-beats, and traditional rock.

Receivers, released October 21st on Jagjaguwar, is the band’s most diverse record- an expansion on their already developed sound- a feat that most artists try but few achieve. On this record, it would seem that more traditional rock has been added to the mix, a tweak that may make this band more accessible to new fans.  However, layers of new instrumentation and surprising vocals make this record anything but traditional.

The band has also expanded in personnel- with the addition of a new drummer and a guitarist to the fold. Dan Friel, who had been shouldering guitar duties along with keyboard/electronics, has relinquished the full-time guitar gig to Sarah Lipstate, and Joe Wong also joined the fold this time around on drums. Lipstate actually joined the band so late in the Receivers process that her guitar parts needed to be recorded separately, as the responsible guitarist could not leave work to record with the rest of the band in Wisconsin.

What’s especially interesting about this album is the way it was made; last spring, Parts & Labor asked their fans to contribute sound samples, and they have used every contribution they received on the album. Check out the end of “Satellites” to see this exemplified. While the bulk of the song sounds like traditional rock, the ending provides a few harmonic choruses, which then gives way to a confusing and complex sea of noise- made up of many of these outside contributions.

Here at BTR we can’t stop listening to “Weddings In A Wasteland,” a complex and fierce track that is surely one of the highlights on the new album. You’ll also find eclectic tracks like “Little Ones” for fans of Oneida. The band is also touring in support of Receivers, so be sure to check them out in a city near you:

11.03.08  Los Angeles, CA @ The Smell
11.04.08  Irvine, CA @ UC Irvine
11.05.08  Tucson, AZ @ Solar Culture
11.07.08  Houston, TX @ Walters On Washington
11.08.08  Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Fest
11.09.08  Dallas, TX @ The Lounge
11.10.08  Hot Springs, AR @ The Exchange
11.12.08  Tallahassee, FL @ Beta Bar
11.13.08  Tampa, FL @ Crowbar
11.14.08  Atlanta, GA @ Star Bar
11.15.08  Athens, GA @ Caledonia Lounge
11.19.08  Bloomington, IN @ Jake’s
11.21.08  Toronto, ON @ Sneaky Dees
11.23.08  New Haven, CT @ Bar

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