Hanalei - Parts and Accessories (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Parts and Accessories (2006)


Brian Moss proved his talents extended beyond that of the Ghost's solid post-hardcore punk rock in the enjoyable and promising 2004 effort We Are All Natural Disasters, which swapped those styles for a matching of electro-indie pop and folk songs. Parts and Accessories completely forgoes the former of these sounds for a full-band sound, fully embracing the folk-rock aesthetic. Hanalei does this decently enough, but it's a definite step back from Disasters due to a lack of diversity in moods and textures despite wonderful production.

Parts and Accessories is jangly, super upbeat alt-country / folk rock with absolutely shining production, but unfortunately, that's all it is. Disasters worked not only due to its inherently hooky nature, but there was something about the way Moss could create a sunny indie pop song one moment, and a slower but hardly lethargic, melancholic manifesto from the confines of a dank bedroom the next. Parts and Accessories, while wonderful as background music, doesn't provide these hooks nor the assortment of emotions we all know Moss is more than capable of pulling from. "MLK, You're OK" hints at this power with Moss going a bit throatier for the "I lock all the doors when I sleep / you always find a way to break in" chorus, and its forceful nature is a nice surprise, but it still conveys the same feeling of unification the other tracks provide just as well. The lightly paced "Do the Pendulum" proves that in the least, the band knows that mixing up the tempos is a trait needing expression when possible. The only track that quite offers a reprieve from the all-too-bright rainbow is the more thoughtful, somewhat dreary but still unifying "The Hand" and its accompanying follower "Nothing Works."

Sunny, comfortable, and exhibiting a happiness and charm not usually seen from the Midwest, Parts and Accessories makes for good springtime listening, though it's a bit hard to forget that the record preceding it fit every season of the year.

MLK, You're OK
The Hand
Cynics Anthem for a New Tomorrow