Album Review - Part Time's "Virgo's Maze"

By Mandi Kimes

With a total of twenty songs on the album, Part Time releases a collection of songs spanning the last five years on their newest album Virgo's Maze, released June 16th through Burger Records. The majority of the album was recorded entirely by David Loca (with the exception of a few instrumental tracks on five songs) either on tape machine, reel-to-reel, and USB mixer. 

The album begins with "The Cost of Living," and immediately you're transported back to 80s new wave. The snare is splashing with reverb and the layers upon layers of synth and ambient guitars are tucked away to allow the drums and singer to shine. With a contagious bass line and shimmering synths, the echoey reverb throughout "My Jamey" is especially apparent in the singer’s delicate melody, as he sings “You’re every dream come true---” and holds out the word “true”. The rolling bells 2:41 tumble downward and drag you down into a relaxed state.

The acoustic guitar and upbeat bass are no match against the saxophone-inspired synth that leads the melody into "Honey Lips". A guaranteed mellow summer hit, the song proves to be a cute love song with peaks and valleys that is so catchy, it will probably be stuck in your head all day. Similar to the new wave sound made popular in the 80s, "Touch Me Responsibly" is laced with spacey synths and a driving beat and the “dun-dun-dun-dun” bass that triggers on every eighth note. The lyrics are a bit too tucked away behind the instrumentation for my liking.

Upon glancing at the title of "I Saw Her Standing There", I thought "Could they really cover the Beatles on their album?" Yep, they snuck a Beatles cover on this album, and it’s totally crazy. With guitars that whirr in and out of control, a bass that never gives up, and drums that drive the whole song, it gives an interesting take to the Beatles classic. Returning to the path of nostalgic 80s throwback, "It's Elizabeth" sounds similar to Mac DeMarco in terms of guitar tone. It carries the groove of walking down the street - I could easily pop this song on in my headphones as I walk through downtown Phoenix.

"Ganz Wien" reminds me of the movie Drive, or the video game Grand Theft Auto; basically anything involving being a thug and driving really fast down the freeway. The ambient guitars and synths with the reverberated drum beats paint the perfect picture of driving towards the sunset on your way to having a night out on the town. Carrying the theme of driving in your car, "Strangest Eyes" adds the element of pulsing beats in the keys and pushes the song through to the chorus when he sings “Strangest eyes!” and sings with the sass and fineness of Prince.

"Was It Real" adds a haunting tone to the album. The spiraling melody and added percussive instruments like shakers immediately grab your attention from the haze of the album. The synth melody jumps around at 2:17 and sends you into a galactic storm.

In my opinion, twenty songs is too much to place on one album. The attention span cannot contain that many songs with one release. I would have suggested releasing ten now, and possibly ten more in a few months. However, the songs flow from one to the next, and that might be why all twenty songs were placed on one album.

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