Last year’s record by the New York band Parts and Labor was pretty interesting stuff, though I had trouble getting through the layers of noise at times. The group’s new album, Mapmaker (coming out later this month from Secretly Canadian) seems even better. The melodies are catchy and downright anthemic at times, but the band is still noisy. All of that came through during a riveting set by the band Friday at the Empty Bottle. Christopher Weingarten’s explosive drumming is practically the focal point of the band. That guy is really going nuts on the drums while bassist/keyboardist BJ Warshaw and guitarist/keyboardist Dan Friel play and sing the songs. One tune featuerd a raga-like drum pattern; others were Keith Moon-ish; and others reminded me of another current New York art-rock band, Oneida. Much of the “keyboard” playing was actually twiddling knobs on electronic devices. Think oscillations more than notes. The catchiness of the vocals came through all of the noisy clatter loud and clear. And halfway through the set, the drum set came apart and they had to pause for a minute to reassemble it hastily.
I’m not as familiar with the music of the headlining band, Adult. It’s electronic pop, which is not one of my favorite genres, but I thought it was fairly good – there was an aggressive edge to the music, not aggressive enough to make it sound like punk, but just enough to keep it from getting too dull and repetitive.