Review by Kent Manthie
Hailing from Los Angles, Body Parts have just released their debut album, Fire Dream on Father/Daughter Records. I’ve heard their style of music described as “experimental pop”, which, I suppose could be a fair summation. But, where the “experimental” part comes from, I don’t know.
The most striking thing about Fire Dream is Body Parts’ use of a particular use of a 1980s-inspired New Wave sound. Think Human League, Ultravox, etc. While coasting on a wave of nostalgia for the “me” decade, Body Parts do seem to end up with a slick, catchy and groovy album.
The duo that is the core of Body Parts are singers Ryder Bach and Alina Cutruno, who, besides writing songs and playing guitar, bring their extensive love and experience of the theater to bear, especially to their live shows, which are enhanced by their knowledge of staging and setting. They are rounded out by the rhythm section of Raymond Proudfoot and Taylor Dexter, on bass and drums, respectively. The most recent addition to Body Parts is Derek Coburn who sparks things up with his synthesizer and keyboard playing.
Besides the aforementioned bands, Body Parts has a complex set of influences that show up now and again throughout the album. When I think of the 80s bands of whom they remind me, I think of the best of those mentioned – i.e., Duran Duran is another example of the sound that comes through, but not the syrupy latter stuff of theirs. No, I have in mind their earliest work, mostly from their first, eponymous debut and, as for the Human League, I have in mind the stuff of theirs that you wouldn’t remember from the radio or MTV – no, they take the best of these New Wave pioneers and build onto what they’ve gotten from them. Body Parts are certainly not a copycat band, but a talented, almost British-sounding band. They are awash in beautiful melodies that make full use of the synthesizers and keyboards that Derek Coburn brings to bear, almost, but not entirely, enveloping the guitar, which is played with great alacrity by Bach, who also, with his golden voice, really delivers a vivacious, mellifluous tonal clarity that, all through the album, keeps reminding me of someone from one of those early 80s New Wave bands, a bit like Midge Ure, but with a slightly higher pitch and as hard as I try to remember, I just cannot recall who it is he reminds me of.
Anyway, the songs on here all flow together in a great sequence of continuity and some worth mentioning include, “Be a God”, “Unavoidable Things”, “You Inside My Head” and the closer, “Wash Over Me”, all of which are part of a deliciously gorgeous sounding CD.
For those whose interest I piqued, I’d send you to www.bodypartsband.com. Check out their bio and also, one can purchase the CD there as well. -KM.