Showing posts with label parquet courts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parquet courts. Show all posts

Thursday, May 24, 2018

video review: 'wide awake!' by parquet courts

So this was genuinely great - not quite 'best of the year' material, but I'm generally happy with it regardless.

Next up, though... well, it'll be interesting - stay tuned!

album review: 'wide awake!' by parquet courts

So I'll freely admit that Parquet Courts can be an obtuse band to talk about. Drenched in tones half pulled from the Velvet Underground and Wire but also contorting into weird spaces with lyrics that feel socially resonant but making sense of any of them can be a real effort, the group has always skirted being a personal favourite of mine in comparison to acts pulling on similar material - think Preoccupations or Ought or even Iceage. Granted, that's not to dismiss their records - their last album Human Performance landed its title track on my top fifty favourite songs of 2016 - but I've been waiting for that moment where they really deliver.

So could Wide Awake! be that moment? Reportedly the band was looking to make this a 'punk record you could put on at parties', and for production they brought in Brian Burton aka Danger Mouse, a producer with whom I have a very complicated relationship from his work with The Black Keys and Broken Bells to production he's provided The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Portugal. The Man. Suffice to say in recent years I've found his material increasingly desaturated and dreary - about the last thing I'd want to hear paired with a 'punk record you could put on at parties', but hey, this could still be pretty fun, right?

Friday, April 22, 2016

video review: 'human performance' by parquet courts

This review was a lot of fun - not just because of the album, but because it was a tough nut to really explore, even if I didn't all the way love it. Definitely expect some of the songs will grow on me more throughout the year, though.

Next up, A$AP Ferg - stay tuned!

album review: 'human performance' by parquet courts

So I'll admit right out of the gate that I was a little tentative to cover this record. I think I've gone on record about how most lo-fi garage rock doesn't really excite me unless the hooks are stellar or they're doing something incredibly bizarre - see the collected output of Ty Segall - but that's not saying I dislike the genre, more a factor that if you've heard a lot of this brand of indie rock it can start to blur together a bit. 

Well, okay, that's not fair, and I'll admit that Parquet Courts does stand out a bit. Their wordy brand of art punk first materialized around the turn of the decade and immediately racked up critical acclaim for albums like Light Up Gold and Sunbathing Animal. And yeah, I liked those records: the guitar lines were sticky, there was some groove there, and you could tell that the lyrics had a certain cleverness that I could definitely respect in isolated chunks, often taking broad shots at Internet culture and finding something to respect... but more often than not, I got the feeling the band hadn't quite reached the level of ambition or instrumental heft groups like Ought or fka Viet Cong had. Good for sure, but a shade away from real greatness for me.

Granted, I get the feeling Parquet Courts were looking to change things up too, because after dropping two records in 2014 - the latter Content Nausea being released by only half the band under a slightly different name with a much rougher, more punk tone - and an EP that confounded critics, they looked to follow it up after a few years of touring with this release, which promised to be a mellower, yet more eclectic new record. So okay, I'm good with Parquet Courts pushing themselves, so what did we get with Human Performance?