Parquet Courts

Monastic Living EP

Rough Trade

Nov 09, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Hell-bent on grappling with moderate success on their own terms, Parquet Courts open Monastic Living with the straightforwardly titled "No, No, No!," which finds them rejecting everything that can be stuffed into a 73-second song. Fair enough. However, after this fairly enlightened burst of primitive punk, the band settles into a numb groove that aims for No Wave devolution but arrives at little more than an audible grumpiness.

Plotted like a concept EP based around the theme of sonic reticence, the release shrugs through instrumentals with titles like "Vow of Silence" and "Alms for the Poor." It's all fried electronics, noncommittal noise, and uninspired drones that have nothing on your average micro label psych cassette. Parquet Courts deconstruct their sound without rebuilding anything in its place, which might be excusable if this record was any fun at all. Unfortunately, it plays like a joyless formal exercise that precludes a dialogue with the listener.

It all comes off as rather calculated, and maybe even a bit miserly. Certainly, the dismantling of indie rock tropes is an admirable enough starting point for an EP, and there's no need to fault Parquet Courts for failing to come up with any concrete answers to the questions they've posed. What's much more unfortunate is that the band didn't manage to launch a very compelling investigation in the first place. (www.parquetcourts.wordpress.com)

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