Parts & Labor

Constant Future

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Like a big hug or a hand on your shoulder at just the right moment, Parts & Labor capture a sound that can only be described as reassuring on Constant Future. Whether it comes from the fuzzy warmth of the synthesizers that wrap you up like a blanket or the all-encompassing atmospherics of the vocals, there’s something about the Brooklyn band’s brand of noise pop that just feels like it’s there for you, letting you know that everything will be all right while it prepares a nice hot cup of tea to fix your frayed nerves. This isn’t to say, however, that the music lacks direction. Constant Future isn’t a sprawling post-rock epic or a collection of esoteric soundscapes, but is instead an incredibly tight and focused collection of songs that highlight mood and motion rather than being too far out, offering a rich sonic depth without ever feeling like it’s meandering around and playing in the dirt while the running time gets longer and longer, giving the album a kinetic quality that is constantly propelling the album forward. This consistency adds to the album's escapist qualities, allowing the listener simply to get lost in the little world that Parts & Labor create for themselves, a world where drums are thumping and bass-heavy synths are not only recommended but essential, a feeling that’s helped along in no small part by the production work of sonic auteur Dave Fridmann, whose sense of spaciousness can be easily felt in the mix of songs like “Pure Annihilation” and “Without a Seed.” While it may not be the band’s most ambitious or experimental work, Constant Future is a work of cohesive beauty, showing a real sense of vision in its execution that more than makes up for the lack of any gimmicks added in for art’s sake.

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