Part Time’s newest album was written and recorded over the past five years. It is a rarities double LP, with recordings being made in LA, Francisco and El Paso. The band’s mastermind, David Speck, does the majority of the playing on this album, and presumably the song writing.
This album could easily be overlooked as a boring constant drone of Brian Eno Synths and mumbled vocals. Indeed this is how I heard the album on first listen. However, after increased scrutiny, you see a lot of diversity. A great range of sounds, styles and emotions make Virgo’s Maze a difficult album to box in and define. It is one of those albums you would call Art Rock or New Wave because you can’t think of much else to call it. You could, if you were feeling brave, relate it back to art rock projects like Talking Heads, Kraftwerk and Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy.
One of the weirdest songs on the album (that I absolutely love) is Honey Lips. I feel that this song offers itself up as a good entry point to begin talking about the album. Honey Lips is the corniest love song, fitted with 1980s-romantic-comedy saxophones. It is so lame that it is awesome (if that makes sense). This song could easily be a Bowie hit from the late 1970s. The song is so unashamed of how corny it is it become ‘fun’.
I feel this is the general ethos of the LP. ‘Lets explore these ideas, but have fun while doing it’. The album is not incredibly deep. You are not going to sit and think about the themes of most of these songs. You are going to have fun listening to this album. You can even dance to most of these tracks. Particular highlights are the wigged out cover of I Saw Her Standing There, the super synthy Kraftwerk (esque) Science, Shadows and Religeons on the Walls and the overtly sexual Pussy of My Dreams.
The album is really scraps and pieces of a multitude of ideas. Every song stands independent of the others. This is what gives the album its diversity. The album is not serious: it’s fun.