Release Date: Oct 21, 2008
Record label: Jagjaguwar
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Metallic melody maelstrom! May the heavens praise Fucked Up and their severely righteous new record, but for my Monopoly Money Receivers is a more thrilling cross-section of the ever-peaking creative trajectory commonly known as “revitalizing hardcore.” I went hunting for a fitting prefix and came back with ‘bizarro-core’: this sounds like that wonderful place that hardcore went on some inexplicable and inverted shadow earth. I think I’m thinking of the Minutemen, and their unofficial motto: “Punk is whatever you make of it.” The question, then: what do we do with this music, having exhausted its basic stylistic premises? Fugazi suggested: make it funky. Now, Parts & Labor suggest: slow it down and cover it with sugar.
In Parts and Labor’s Receivers, some of the electro-quirkiness that defines their sound has been replaced by a more standard sense of rock ’n’ roll instrumentation and dynamics. Verse-chorus-verse structures with guitar parts, danceable percussion, and sing-along melodies ground each song. Sarah Lipstate’s guitar adds traction to a band that always seemed ready to disappear in wire buzz or radio static.
If 2007’s Mapmaker was created a palpable buzz for Parts & Labor, Receivers should raise the noise to a distorted howl. The Brooklyn band’s sound has been deftly evolving with each release, with Mapmaker its first to directly embrace its current predilection for bombastic anthems buried beneath the rubble of screeching synthesizer. Receivers has the same sonic hallmarks: twitchy, knob-turning electronics amid lumbering distortion and lyrics foretelling vague apocalyptic threats.
Anger subsided, the pots and pans have returned to the cupboard, and Parts & Labor have found melody. A harmonious balance touched 2007's Mapmaker, but here, the Brooklyn quartet becomes Receivers, mixing found sound with classic chord progressions and multilayered vocals on album No. 4. The addition of Sarah Lipstate on guitar and tape clearly allowed for greater compositional freedom.