Parts & Labor’s third album moves like a train of the future. It’s part machine, with mechanical blips and buzzes looped through its mainframe like electronic circuits. And it’s part human, too, the clout of drum and bass acting as organs pumping warm, rich tones with bloody domination. The end result is a multi-faceted creature reflecting a shard of Brooklyn’s experimental music scene, but possessing a more straightforward rock ’n’ roll disposition.
Mapmaker is a lesson in physics. Chris Weingarten’s drums are driven to maniacal speeds, which turn the larger, slower cranks of Dan Friel’s slithering vocals. No one tempo perseveres and every part—no matter how dark and industrial—works to hoist the fist-pumping pop hooks that sweeten the tone.
Despite themes meditating on immoral politics or the metaphorical imagery of a noose tying the necks of self-destructive lovers, Parts & Labor’s lyrics are unimposing, barely discernible. It’s this smart blend of rich instrumentals and storied vocal threads that make Mapmaker a thoroughly engaging album. (Erika Fredrickson)
Part & Labor plays the Palace Lounge with Black Velvet Elvis, Twin and The Knockoffs Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 9 PM. $5.