Posted by: will | August 29, 2007

Music Review – Parts & Labor…

Parts & Labor “Mapmaker” (Jagjaguwar)

Barely a year after the monstrously awesome Stay Afraid, Parts & Labor return with their fourth album, entitled Mapmaker. In my review of Stay Afraid last year I came up with a new genre to classify Parts & Labor. I labeled the band as melodic noise-core. The band lives up to that billing once again with Mapmaker.

One thing instantly noticeable about Mapmaker is the more conventional and song-oriented sound the band shows off. One should not fret though, the noise still remains. It is just more tempered here and it rarely seems to overshadow the band’s songs. That was not always the case in the past. Because of that focus, the Husker Du influence becomes even more apparent. The raised level of accessibility in the band’s songs only enhances their amazing anthemic quality. The band can still pummel you with their brand of nosie rock but they choose to examine different avenues to make their point on Mapmaker. The distorted-toy-keyboard take on the classic Minutemen antiwar spiel “King Of The Hill” is just the icing on the cake.

In my review of Stay Afraid I said if the band could show a little more restraint they just might have a masterpiece in them. With Mapmaker the band has shown considerable restraint but the album falls short of being a masterpiece. Instead, Parts & Labor continue to carve out their own little niche in rock music. In the end, the pioneer spirit that Parts & Labor possess might be the more impressive feat.

RIYL: Husker Du, Lightning Bolt, Oneida

Listen: Parts & Labor – Fractured Skies (mp3)



  1. “Melodic Noise-core” – how do you do it?

  2. Its about time I got turned on to some new indie music. Things have been a bit dry on that tip lately, but now I have a new CD that I need to check out. Thanks!

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