Parts and Labor: Receivers
I listened to a lot of music last year. Every slight recommendation (personal, electronically generated) was dutifully followed up and mostly, it has to be said, dismissed. I trawled blogs, read with total incredulity glowing eulogies of utter shite and downloaded and subsequently deleted a plethora of tracks. Yet, it was bound to happen: something really great slipped through the net.
I’ve seen Parts & Labor described as the ‘best band you’ve never heard of’. Yep, that’ll be me then. Receivers is their fourth album and it seems that a lot of their hardcore fans aren’t happy with the apparent change of direction – from noise-punks to something much bigger, more anthemic. I haven’t heard anything else, but once I’ve purchased their other albums I’m determined to whinge on any forum going about how the first three should sound like the fourth.
Receivers has the same bravura and bombast that Secret Machines do so well. I now dream of a proper Indie stadium gig with Parts and Labor, the Machines and the Spree on the bill. Guitars are alternatively power pounded or short circuited. Electronics chirp and chatter. Vocals, sounding very Bob Mould/Sugar-esque wrench the arms aloft and emotionally tug. Driving drums and bass push the whole thing along at an aptly timed pace. Opener ‘Satellites’ does it all: the sound of a ZX Spectrum loading (hopefully Atic Atac) is joined by the pulse of guitars and drums, an expansive chorus and fitting key changes, and a torrent of noise to finish. As a bonus, on ‘Little Ones’ P&L manage to be the only other band in history to successfully incorporate bagpipes – the other being Orbital, although they cheated and sampled theirs.
Simultaneously uplifting and yet obscurely intimate, I would have argued bitterly for this to be in our top ten. Not that I needed to argue much for our end of year listing, but I would have done if needed. Expect to see it in my Last.fm widget thingy a lot over the coming months (if the damned thing ever updates).
Buy it here and find yourself a wide open space to listen.
p.s. wordpress wouldn’t let me put an ampersand in the title of this post. Yes, I know it’s Parts & Labor.