Hanalei Parts and Accessories

It looks like Brian Moss is mellowing as he gets older. After his stint with Bay Area emo band the Ghost, each subsequent record he is involved with appears to be less angry and quieter. His current project, Hanalei, started out as a solo venture but has since metamorphosed into a full band, and that is not where the changes stop. Whereas Hanalei’s first album had more in common with the Postal Service, because of the fractured electronic beats that backed every song, Parts and Accessories has more or less ditched that laptop sound and gone for jangly guitars instead, adding some country twang for effect. He still spits bile from time to time lyrically, but the most earnest moments sound at odds with the music that it lessens their effect. Parts and Accessories is too patchy for its own good, and so much so that it almost feels like the acclaim for Hanalei’s debut might have been because of the similarities to the Postal Service rather than because of its own merits. While the new sound might come as a bit of a shock to existing Hanalei fans, the band’s no frills approach feels more honest and less opportunistic than their last record even if it doesn’t always succeed. But anyone really missing those bleeps and beats will be pleased to hear that a remix album is on its way soon. (Thick)