Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Stream: Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold

Parquet Courts have seemingly come out of nowhere to take the world by storm. They have steadily built their fanbase from the ground up, all the while receiving immense critical praise, something not afforded to most bands of their ilk. The group is centered around Texas-to-Brooklyn transplant Andrew Savage, who along with partner in crime Austin Brown, had no problem generating buzz with their former bands Fergus & Geronimo and Teenage Cool Kids. The group is rounded out by Savage’s brother Max on drums and bassist Sean Yeaton. Together, they focus on energetic stoner punk with a jagged alternative edge. Over the course of the album, they manage to combine the charming warble of Pavement with the urgency of 1970's NYC proto-punk bands like Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers.

The one-two punch of "Master of My Craft" and "Borrowed Time" kicks off the record with it's catchiest numbers illuminated by bright guitars and intriguing tongue-in-cheek lyrics. On "Donuts Only", they draw inspiration from Sonic Youth for the track's noisy guitar tone. Most songs are between one and two minutes but it's what they do with this time that really sets them apart. "Careers in Combat" tackles a problem I have struggled with recently where it's impossible to find a job, which becomes increasingly infuriating as you realise that people tend to look down on those pursuing jobs in the arts but glorify those in combat. The song says so much about our society in so few words, listing the jobs no longer available and presenting the alternative: "but there are still careers in combat, my son."

Packing a similar short but sweet structure, "Light Up Gold II" is barely over a minute yet one of the most infectious songs herein with it's declarations of "Light up gold was the color of something I was looking for." The band offers a welcome change of pace with "Stoned and Starving", a slacker manifesto focused on a two chord vamp. It is easy to see why Parquet Courts' delightfully sloppy approach is striking a chord with every counterculture miscreant who gives it their time. After one spin, you're probably going to want to head to their bandcamp and buy yourself a copy.

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