Parquet Courts

Wide Awake!

Rough Trade

May 18, 2018 Issue #63 - Courtney Barnett Bookmark and Share


Wide Awake! is Parquet Courts' fifth album (or seventh, if you include the trimmings of Parkay Quarts and last year's Daniele Luppi collaboration) in as many years, with scarily prolific Andrew Savage releasing his first solo album late last year as well. And yet, the band show no signs of slowing down or diminishing returns yet, with their "main timeline" records topping the last successively.

And now, just to add fuel to their perpetual fire, they are angry too. This isn't to say the band have gone "full-punk," it's still very much a Parquet Courts album, but there is a clear feeling of rage in Savage and Austin Brown's vocal delivery and lyrics that simply weren't there or even associated with the band before.

It's not difficult to understand why, there's a lot out there to be angry about right now, but the fact the band have seamlessly added that emotion into their performative repertoire without breaking a sweat is an impressive feat.

What is also rather impressive, is that the band manage to keep finding refreshing ways to squeeze the juice out of their sound without ever getting dull. While Wide Awake! is perhaps less adventurous than the band's last two "proper" records, it is more sharply focused, with twists and turns that knock you off your dancing feet. Opener "Total Football," for instance, has a relatively understated opening, which returns at the end with a fun message for Tom Brady, but a sudden snare hits announces its take-off, and the listener is off to the races in tow of these four excellent musicians.

Meanwhile, "Violence" works like your standard call and response blues track, but Parquet Courts push the form to its very limits to keep it distinctly them, and onward the record goes. The proclamation that this is currently the world's most exciting rock band was suggested a couple years ago, now Parquet Courts have claimed the throne. (www.parquetcourts.wordpress.com)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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