Published Jun 03, 2014Parquet Courts find themselves in an enviable position going into their third album. Light Up Gold and the Tally All the Things That You Broke EP laid out a variety of sonic paths for the Brooklyn via Texas crew, yet they opt to stick to a narrow road, continuing to mine 70s proto-, post- and straight up American punk with Andrew Savage's wry observations anchoring the proceedings.
There's a same-but-different current that runs through the record. At times, it's hard to tell if the band ran out of ideas or if they've somehow slyly subverted their Modern Lovers/Television hybrid roots as the album oscillates between loose jams and deep grooves, often in the same song. Some tracks are too long: "She's Rollin" will no doubt be a killer live staple, but its harmonica freak-out coda drags on record, and there is no "Borrowed Time" or "Stoned and Starving" here to draw in the uninitiated.
Yet the band dig deep finding grooves that only reveal themselves with repeated listens. Those listens are well worth the effort, revealing seemingly innocuous tracks like "Always Back in Town" and "What Color is Blood" to be throbbing slabs of garage rock gold.
Though less adventurous than on earlier work, Parquet Courts still manage to deliver a unique record that builds on the foundations of the past. (What's Yr Rupture?)