Brooklyn noisepunk outfit Parts & Labor has dramatically altered their wall-of-sound: Their fourth album, Receivers, finds P&L focusing on open spaces, longer movements, expansive arrangements and loftier goals. On eight epic tracks, Receivers showcases the band’s catchiest and darkest moods to date, reveling in a growing dynamic sensibility only hinted at in their previous work. Though they’ve maintained their love affair with glitchy oscillations and anthemic vocals, they are now utilizing the full possibilities of a band that was once a scrappy punk trio, and now a mature art-rock quartet. It’s a heady mix of psych, noise, and pop influenced by the arty minimalism of Wire, the surreal pop of early Eno, and even the spaced out psychedelia of Dark Side-era Pink Floyd.
In April, Parts & Labor had an open call on their websites, looking for audio samples and field recordings submitted by friends and fans. The band posed a selection of questions to spur inspiration: “What do your parents sound like?” “What are you afraid of?” They received hundreds of sounds in return — all manner of bleeps, conversations and crashes. In a gesture of inclusion, every sound received is used in some degree on the album, either within the chattering satellites whirring by in the aptly titled “Satellites” or during the final cacophony of noise that swallows the band during Receivers’ final moments. The band’s favorite sounds, however, were given special prominence as source material for the ambient interludes and collages that bridge the eight songs. It’s a unique project that comments on information overload while also championing the democratic nature of working in an increasingly digital music business.
Photos by Gina Pollack