Published Oct 14, 2015As the former vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist for Brooklyn noise rock band Parts & Labor, Dan Friel's approach to electronic-based music usually comes from the genre's textural possibilities rather than its oft-travelled sonic avenues. On his third full-length, the dense and adventurous Life, Friel has looked beyond aural cues, finding inspiration in his new role as a father, as tracks like "Lullaby (For Wolf)," "Rattler" and "Sleep Deprivation," although just as noisy and biting as ever, represent a new outlook for his songwriting style.
Over the album's dozen instrumentals, Friel allows the screeching guitar sound and bass on tracks like "Lungs" and "Bender" to drive the melody, while the almost anthemic "Life (Pt. 1)," "Life (Pt. 2)" and the cover of Joanna Gruesome's "Jamie (Luvver)" rely on the tracks' buried-somewhere-beneath backbeats. On Life, Dan Friel's beats and rhythms come off less stingy and cloaked, allowing the noise to finally meet the listener (almost) halfway. (Thrill Jockey)