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From the creatively fertile grounds of Dayton, Ohio, home of the Wright Brothers and the birth of flight, comes the onward and upward sonic ventures of veteran indie spacerockers Lab Partners. Coming from a wide-range of musical backgrounds, the band incorporate influences from the worlds of rock, blues, jazz, pop, gospel, even ambient Eno-like trance delivering their own unique brand of 'spacerock', yet never losing grasp of 'melody' in the process.
Lab Partners first formed in Dayton in 1998 by Mike Smith, Amy Smith and Matt Schultz of the band Honeyburn and Kevin Parrett of Ten O'Clock Scholar. After releasing two EPs in 1999 and 2000, drummer Matt Schultz left the group to join Let's Crash, and later, Enon. Replaced by Ian Kaplan (Mink / The Motel Beds / Sundrop), the group released its first full-length, "Daystar" on Big Beef Records in 2002 to critical acclaim. Today featuring veteran rocker Mike Volk on lead guitar (also formerly of Let's Crash and Honeyburn), Lab Partners continue to record prolifically and perform live.
Lab Partners present a beautiful collection of inspirational 'stratopop' on their Big Beef Records release "Daystar", a 72-minute magnum opus of inspirational and soulful spacerocking dreampop, featuring richly textured swirling melodic infusions of sound ranging from minimal aural spacescapes to full on rock and roll. Incorporating influences from a wide world of rock, blues, jazz, pop, gospel, even Eno-like ambient and trance, the Lab Partners have created their own unique contribution to a whole wide-open genre of music populated by the likes of such acts as the Doves, Coldplay, My Bloody Valentine, The Verve and many more.
"Epic, old-style dream pop, radioed in from the spacewaves of Dayton, Ohio. Mixing the brainy cloudbursts of Ride with the druggy swagger of Spacemen 3, the Partners bring the genre closer to earth with instantly hummable songs that are once affecting and remote."
- SPIN MAGAZINE
"If Dayton, Ohio's Lab Partners prove anything with their first long-player, Daystar, it's that injecting some power-pop sensibilities into space-rock produces some very fine results. Despite their stratospheric inclinations, they are at their core great pop writers who share a surprising amount in common with Fountains of Wayne, pulling one lush nugget after another from what seems like an inexhaustible supply."
"Dayton's Lab Partners managed to put out one of the finest overall albums of 2002 in the form of Daystar, their debut release for Daytonian label, Big Beef Records...[and] the band has received a lot of attention (including a Spin magazine write-up) thanks to the expansive, melodic "shoegazer" rave-ups that make Daystar such a mind-melting musical experience.
While Dayton has become known for bands that rely more on directness (GBV, Breeders, et al.), Lab Partners stand out by making music around an enchanting wall of big, lush sounds, concocted with layers of guitars and some keyboard accouterment (but no bass guitar)...
But the Partners especially excel in one area that most shoegazers gaze over -- melody. While many of their peers concentrate more on the jammy glide of the music, Lab Partners write songs that could be almost as effective played simply on an acoustic guitar."
- CINCINNATI CITYBEAT