Dan Friel: Total Folklore
When Parts & Labor announced their retirement, an audible howl of anguish came forth from BBO terraces; gentle tears dripped from our cheeks and short-circuited the resistors and wires as we knelt in silence over our shrine to the Brooklyn noise popsters.
But dry your eyes mate. It became apparent not long after this despairing news that Dan Friel was going it alone and taking much of what made Parts & Labor so great with him; Total Folklore is the result.
Stripping away the vocal element of P&L, Friel delivers an album of top-notch electro-terror-pop best exemplified by the twelve-minute opener ‘Ulysses’: a stomping mini-epic with IEDs used for beats and rhythm. The P&L melodies are there throughout – particularly on hyper-speed ‘Valedictorian’ – but they seem somehow more delightfully excited than ever. It’s as if Friel’s machines and effects are so glad to be in use again they’ve gone all hyperactive and giddy. In fact, on ‘Scavengers’ they seem drunk on their own freedom as they stagger woozily over the machine gun pace.
There’s no real let up in the distorted and maxed out electronics; everything has that feeling of peaking in the red and there are moments on tracks such as ‘Thumper’ where no amount of turning the volume down will save your synapses.
Being a short album, Total Folklore doesn’t outstay its welcome, but a welcome return for all P&L fans it most certainly is. Buy it.