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Parts & Labor | Rise Rise Rise | review | rock | Lollipop
Parts & Labor
Rise, Rise, Rise (Narnack)
by Karl Giesing
Parts & Labor are a Brooklyn three-piece consisting of multi-instrumentalists Dan Friel, BJ Warshaw, and Loel Saladino. Most other reviewers have compared them to other art-rock bands, but those sorts of comparisons imply that they're some sort of rip-off, which is patently false. True, they do sometimes wear their influences on their sleeves ("Probably Feeling Better Already" sounds like what would happen if Hrvatski played with Lightning Bolt), but those influences are so varied that they're simply incapable of sounding like any other artist. The fact that they're all over the map is both a blessing and a curse. The album is a total grab-bag, varying between the unlistenable ("Good Morning Black Eye," which is just bad banjo playing) to the outstanding ("Days In Thirds" and "The Endless Air Show," both dissonant rockers).
Tyondai Braxton has obviously escaped from the same refugee camp, as evidenced by "Stand There," the best song Parts & Labor never wrote and probably the highlight of the whole disc. The remaining two tracks reveal an equally ecclectic aesthetic, both tracks being minimal, experimental, and lengthy. And here, too, it's an equal mix of idiot and savant. "Disintegrating Reels," much of which is airy vocals and sparse guitar chords, simply never gets going despite its twelve-minute length. On the other hand, "Jackpot" works much better, shimmering piano chords and sparse drones evolving into jarring operatic no-wave.
Both artists are worth watching. This record is full of promises of greatness, promises which here are only half-fulfilled. Both need to seperate the wheat from the chaff (and judging by Parts & Labor's recent live shows, this won't be far in the future). But as soon as they do, they'll both be unstoppable.