There are lots of noise-mongers out there, and lots of beat junkies, and lots of glitch fiends. What's a little unusual is when someone brings all three tendencies to the table simultaneously, and what's even more unusual is when he does so with such an attitude of good cheer. As weirdly abrasive as much of this music is, it always seems to be wearing a grin, and that turns out to count for a lot. Ghost Town is the first full-length solo album by Parts & Labor singer/electrician Dan Friel, and on it he doesn't sing at all -- or at least, he doesn't seem to sing, though the liner notes provide no details about how the music was put together and it's certainly possible that some of the crunches, glitches, creaks, and howls out of which this album is built originated as vocal noises. The notes tell us only that Friel is responsible for the noises, which are varied and wild in the extreme. On "Desert Song" the legs are kicked out from under the rhythms and the melodies are smeared all over, but both the rhythms and melodies somehow retain enough shape to make the tune both interesting and fun. "One Legged Cowboy" is a glitchily lovely number that mutters and swoons around a static melodic motif, while "Buzzards" is more conventionally rockish and "Appliances of Bremen" nods gently towards late-'80s industrial. Perhaps best of all is the long and complex "Ghost Town, Pt. 2," which starts out as a tangled string of aimless glissandi that sounds like an electronic slide-whistle free-improv group, then suddenly shifts over to a robotic bagpipe, and then collapses into a welter of frenetic glitch beats. Brilliant! "Horse Heaven" ends the program on a contemplative note. Very highly recommended.