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The Daily Tar Heel

Seeing the name Parts & Labor on the cover of an album gives one a questionable impression of what to expect within.

Will the album’s sound recall to us an industrial work yard? Or perhaps the tinkering of an automobile factory? Or maybe even an agricultural operation, all rice paddies and cornfields?

Upon listening to Constant Future, Parts & Labor’s eighth release, none of these descriptions are exactly apt, but there is an industrial quality to the Brooklyn band’s sound.

Guitars grind away on every track and there is a consistent energy throughout the album. Parts & Labor has the feel of your XYZ Hard Rock Band of the Nineties, not unlike Collective Soul or Pearl Jam, but perhaps a notch below these outfits in caliber.

Constant Future starts with a bang on album opener “Fake Names,” where teasing keys and drumbeats build for the album’s high-energy ride.

About a minute into the first track, slow momentum lets loose in a cascade of guitar, as if Parts & Labor just could not contain itself any longer, setting the precedent for the rest of the album.

The synth effects on the album’s title track and “Pure Annihilation” could lend the impression of being inside a video game. The melodic lines of other selections are unexpectedly reminiscent of an Irish folk song, to the point that one might imagine lead singer Dan Friel’s droning notes tinged with an Irish accent.

Constant Future’s only real downfall is that there is not much variation amid its selections. The tracks have the same basic instrumental set up and progression. The keyboard and guitar work feels familiar and even predictable after about the fifth track.

Each song as it stands alone is quality, but listening to the album in its entirety hints that a live show might encourage an, “OK, I get it” reaction. Nevertheless, Constant Future is substantive and proves a pleasurable listen.

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