January 22, 2013

Song Review: Dan Friel's "Thumper"

When Parts & Labor announced they were taking a break in early 2012, it was bittersweet news that marked the end of an era for the seminal and criminally underrated Brooklyn noise act, and also the beginning of something great destined to come our way from the band's sound-sculpter Dan Friel. His standout 2008 solo debut Ghost Town took the static ride that gave Parts & Labor its heavy yet melodic equilibrium tangled somewhere between blissed out electronics and harsh mechanics, turned up the keys into pop overdrive, and resulted in a listen swelling with room-filling bounce and undeniable danceability. Friel's sophomore effort is finally on its way, as Total Folklore is due out February 19th on Thrill Jockey. Preceding the early first single "Valedictorian" is the LP's latest listen "Thumper," in which the noise pop contortionist continues to graduate into a whole new degree of eccentric computerized execution by bottling every short sizzle and rhythmic crunch of keyboard into a glowing form of euphoria while digging down into the noise punk trenches to give the track edges where the bubbles burst. Today's modern definition of electronic pop tends to focus on slick, gleaming recordings that showcase every facet of sound available to be heard, but you aren't going to find much of that here throughout the heated blur of "Thumper" as Dan Friel continues to buck conventional trends in favor of building wonderfully wrecked hooks from the ground up.

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