Friday, May 22, 2009

Parts and Labor - Stay Afraid

They're getting more attention now, and they've certainly worked for it, but this Brooklyn band has, for some reason, been largely slept on for the past few years. I saw them opening for Les Savy Fav at the Bowery Ballroom in September 2007, and they absolutely blew me away. They were noisy and frenetic, but had a great pop undercurrent to their songs. In that way (and in their approach to songwriting and sonics) they remind me of Husker Du, one of their admitted influences. They released two albums prior to this one, but Stay Afraid is where they really got their footing. It was their first release on Jagjaguwar and their first one where they focused more on songs rather than noisy pieces. Both Dan Friel and BJ Warshaw share vocal duties, and the drummer on this album is wild. He hits hard and fast, and fills in the spaces of the songs. If you enjoy this one, you'll probably like Mapmaker, their next album. Receivers, the most recent one, was a slight left turn. They added a second guitar player and the songs are less energetic, but it was still a really good release.


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