Posts Tagged ‘Parts & Labor’

Joe Wong – “Nite Creatures”

I’ve been letting the Joe Wong (Parts & Labor) cut sink into the skin this morning and its starting to take root. The songwriter and composer might be more well known today for his work with television scoring these days (Russian Doll, The Midnight Gospel, Master of None, etc) but it seems that he’s still got an itch for psychedelic rock, albeit of a much lusher nature these days. His new album for Decca is earmarked with just about as many blissful psych touchstones you can cram in — produced by Mary Timony and mixed in the studio by Dave Fridman, the album brings together Mary Lattimore, Anna Waronker, Steve Drozd, and quite a few others to help Wong drape a bit of velvet over every track. “Nite Creatures” makes great use of Lattimore’s harp as Wong makes a play for Lee Hazlewood spun round in the rotoscope under gelled lights. I know that Wong leans more towards scoring, but from a psych-pop standpoint I hope that after the Lynx Lodge has closed for good, that Tom Patterson can find another mercurial psychedelic show in which to place this one. The Fred Armisen-directed video does little to dissuade that feeling, going for a hidden worlds feel while Wong wanders a Moroccan dressed mansion. The song is from his new LP, out now.



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Upper Wilds

Dan Fucking Friel! Man’s been around the block and back, kicking the dust of distortion in Parts & Labor, who found a welcome space here all those many years ago. Later, Dan’s solo work jumped on a tangent of erratic rock tendencies but Upper Wilds might be the closest he’s come to the crunch n’ punch of his old band’s stomping grounds to date. Along with friends from Pterodactyls and an arsenal of pedals Friel captures the bent metal axis of noise-punk and overdrives it as hard as he can through an aesthetic that drops down and begs for volume – Earth rumbling volume on an eviction-level scale. This is a stripped bare and bleeding version of pop punk as run through the half stack heart attack of old-timey favorites like No Age and Times New Viking. Anthemic, is an overused term but it might just bear credence here.

Friel’s actually coming across clearer, vocally, than either of those two prime examples, but nonetheless he knows how to blend the chaos with a chewy nougat center until it sticks to the ribs. That, my skeptical sourpuss friend, is the beating heart of Guitar Module 2017. It’s an oxygen-chomping monster of a record that just wants to flop down and occupy every inch of space in your apartment until each corner is coated in a layer of noise-caked debris. There’s some sort of space/UFO concept going on in the song titles and samples, but while that’s a fun diversion (and who doesn’t love some good ol’ Easter Eggs) it all ranks second to the punishing, yet poppy, damage raining out of Dan’s amps. Sometimes you just gotta knock the knob right and let the panes of glass fend for themselves. Crunch pop always delivers and Friel’s proving he’s been ensconced in its ranks for a damn good reason.




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