Music Review: Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal

Sunbathing Animal
Parquet Courts first album, Light Up Gold, was a great re-introduction to the awesomeness of lo-fi indie post-punk, and it rightly garnered a lot of positive buzz (especially in Britain). There is innocence and an “I don’t give a fuck” kind of attitude that comes with a first offering. The music always feels pure, unadulterated and energetic due usually to the lack of expectations. Following up on such a well-received opener can be difficult. Sophomore releases carry the responsibility of evolutionary growth while maintaining much of the formula of what made the first album a hit. For their follow-up album, Sunbathing Animal, Parquet Courts have exceeded almost every expectation, shredding any pre-conceived 2nd album foreboding with energetic zeal.

The Brooklyn-based Foursome – Andrew Savage (vocals, guitar), Austin Brown (vocals, guitar), Sean Yeaton (bass), and Max Savage (drums) – have given us a bouncy, riotous album that feels like bare-bones rock and roll. It is an album that will have you demonstrating your prowess for air guitar and drums throughout its 13 tracks. The album starts off with some great lo-fi power chords and hypnotic drums. It is next to impossible to not move in some form or another while listening to tracks like “Black and White”. Parquet Courts don’t really care about vocal prowess either. “Dear Ramona” is a track that would make Lou Reed proud with dead pan notes of every word. Then there are those Sex Pistol moments that prove why Parquet Courts have succeeded so much across the pond. “Always Back In Town” reminds me a lot of Johnny Rotten with its aggressive tones.

parquet courtsBut the album is not all hard and heavy. While the title track brandishes you with deuling asynchronous guitar and constant drumming, it is followed by the short yet sweet instrumental interlude “Up All Night” which leads into the more commercially oriented “Instant Disassembly”.  It is definitely the most pop-oriented song on the album, but it will also be the song that people will remember years down the road.

This is an album that runs the gamut of post-punk. It is aggressive without being violent. It is, in many ways, the perfect sophomore album because it on a whole doesn’t give a shit. Like the musical conventions the band shreds throughout all 13 tracks, Parquet Courts have pumped out an album that almost feels effortless. That is to say that it came out naturally. There is no awkwardness to it, just pure, simple riot-inducing rock and roll.

For a limited time you can actually stream the album for free via The Guardian. I suggest you check it out.

Follow Tom on Twitter @thomaskagar

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