Part of the pleasure of receiving new music is finding out what’s happening in your hometown. Rarely do I actually get stuff from Los Angeles that isn’t some new boring hipster band or a dull and uninteresting noise project, often casting it aside for something similar but better. Luckily the current wave of rock that I have been lucky enough to get into (and in some cases see live up north) has been utterly killer. The dual drum and ‘6os meets ‘00s writing powerhouse of Aerial Stereo (possibly on hiatus, which would be terrible) was enough to get me to abandon most of the shitty anarcho-folk-punk in Santa Cruz and re-evaluate my hometown locale. And through that I found out about Body Parts. Not only are they related to another musician I like, singer-songwriter-bandleader S.A. Bach (check out his stuff – please), they just so happen to have a debut mini-LP newly pressed and ready for all ears. On Purpose may only contain seven songs and about 27 minutes of music, but the infectious melodies and skillful writing maintain its staying power and immediate enjoyable traits.

From the first second of the disc, the music latches on with fervor and intensity. “I like the things that you’re doing” sings guitarist/lead Part Ryder Bach in a falsetto all his own, as opener ‘Doing Things’ showcases an impressive array of influences. Talking Heads and Dirty Projectors come to the fore, with massed harmonies in the chorus, nervous guitar, and a distinct sense of melisma, as well as a lack of articles in band names. To break down Body Parts to those two sources alone shortchanges the songs ultimately, and the infectiousness of highlights like ‘Comfortable, Happy, Satisfied’ and ‘Critical,’ two songs that boast sing along choruses and show off Bach’s vocal ability and ease with which the band jumps across intervals. The end result is aurally exhilarating and bizarrely modern while retaining a decidedly retro sound, the sound channeling the crisp guitar sonics of eras past while firmly staying with electronic experimentation both with the drums and the vocal editing. Inflections as far reaching as Insect Trust and classical sprechstimme can be discerned in the interplay of ‘Stereotypes’ and the chanting ‘Conditional Love,’ songs that release their pent up aggression in measured bursts of guitar and delicate female vocals over some even more delicate music. This sense of pan-generational influence is exactly what makes On Purpose as fascinating as it is, and reinvigorates each song with the energy of the previous outing.

So ultimately the end result is a debut that shows not only huge promise and a keen ear for catchy experimentalism, but actually makes me want to go to shows in my hometown. What that means is the LA scene can actually remove itself from the miasma of mediocrity that has grown thanks to the overabundance of bands. By the sheer replay value, free download, and low $10 price tag for a physical copy (housed in a sturdy digipak with a note from the band!), how can the offer go unnoticed?

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