PARTS & LABOR play Parts & Labour Friday (April 15). See listing. Rating: NNNN
Parts & Labor describe themselves as a noise pop band, but while similar groups sacrifice songcraft for experimentation, P&L never ignore the "pop" side of the equation. They like a good racket, sure, but the clamour always serves the songs.
The Brooklyn trio's fifth album benefits from years of stylistic refinement. On opener Fake Names, they introduce the blueprint - insistent drums, distorted yet melodic synth lines, chanted vocals - that lasts throughout the 12 tracks. The elements add up to an odd warmth that never secedes, even when pummelling rhythms and droney riffs hit overdrive.
Parts & Labor still do plenty of rocking out, but their tight compositions save them from overindulgence. The strident formula might lack diversity but never loses momentum.
Top track: A Thousand Roads