Constant Future by Parts & Labor
Constant Future is the career-defining statement from Brooklyn-based noise-pop trio Parts & Labor. The albums 12 tracks deliver the bare essentials that made them sui generis totems of modern art-punk: synthesized keyboard riffs distorted into oblivion, percussion pummeled hypnotically, crackling drones that haunt and soothe, fearless melodies hollered skyward. Their last release, 2008s acclaimed Receivers, saw Parts & Labor blasting off in all directions and creating collage art from hundreds of fan-curated samples. But fifth album Constant Future finds them crashing back to earth, focusing pointedly on what they do best: unique, electronic landscapes melded with buzzing, anthemic hooks. Parts & Labor have distilled the lessons and experiences of nearly 10 years as a band into a catchy, blown-out masterwork.
Maximalist engineer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mogwai, Sleater-Kinney, MGMT) co-produced and mixed the album with P&L at his Tarbox Road Studios in Casadega, NY. A band already known for their dense, futuristic sound was ultimately transformed into something massive, beaming, downright nuclear. The album is the product of two years of vigorous writing and demoing which resulted in more than 40 songs. For the actual recording, Parts & Labor settled in a former boxing ring in Milwaukee to track the record themselves, with drummer Joe Wong leading the charge.
Over Constant Future's 39 minutes, vocalists Dan Friel and BJ Warshaw steadfastly chronicle several whirlwind years of growth, taking lyrical cues from the artful work of their musical heroes (Sonic Youth, Lungfish, Fugazi,Wire). The pair weave tales of teeth-baring city-scapes ("Fake Names," "Echo Chamber"), the anxiety of death ("Rest," "Never Changer") and the horrifying pitfalls of our nascent century ("Outnumbered," "Skin And Bones"). But, as their sunny refrains would imply, theres always a glimmer of hope, acceptance and love buried just beneath Parts & Labors paranoid surface ("Without A Seed," "Hurricane," "A Thousand Roads").
1. Fake Names
3. Constant Future
4. A Thousand Roads
6. Pure Annihilation
7. Skin And Bones
8. Echo Chamber
9. Without A Seed
10. Bright White
12. Never Changer
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