Parts and Labor, Mapmaker

Todd Burns

By Todd Burns

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Let's admit it: rock & roll is a dead scene. The old fogeys reunite or never broke up in the first place, trying to squeeze every last dollar out of their legacy, and the young turks all sound like delicate and studied rehashes of what once sounded dangerous. Well, not all young turks. Brooklyn's Parts and Labor, for example, offered a way out on 2003's Rise, Rise, Rise: they simply played the noisiest rock they could. And, for good measure, they added bagpipes.

Parts and Labor resuscitate rock & roll’s festering, lifeless corpse.

Since then, they've mostly jettisoned the original dronemaker, but rest assured: they haven't gotten softer. In fact, Mapmaker is a kissing cousin to its predecessor, 2006's brutal Stay Afraid: Christopher Weingarten still pounds the skins with thundering force and frightening precision; while Dan Friel and BJ Warshaw man the keyboards, guitars and effects, crafting chaotic riffs, noise and everything in between.

All of this comes together on “Vision of Repair,” a noise anthem that features Weingarten's inhumanly fast drumming matched up against an organ (which has been turned to the Velvet Underground setting) and a guitar that bravely peeks through the fierce layer of distortion that covers the track. It's nothing, though, compared to the opener, “Fractured Skies,” which goes through the same sorts of moves — except this time it opens up mid-song for a horn section breakdown. So what if Parts and Labor went from bagpipes to saxophones? They still sound dangerous.