Record review: Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal (2014, LP)

parquet courts sunbathing animal

It’s tempting to pin the ‘slacker’ label on New York indie-rock quartet Parquet Courts, given that their most well-known song to date, 2012’s ‘Stoned and Starving’, tells the simple tale of singer Andrew Savage wandering the streets fiending for “Swedish fish, roasted peanuts or liquorice”. To do so, however, would be a disservice, as there is much more to the band. Featured on their second album Light Up Gold, that song introduced the everyday laugh-out-loud ramblings of a young city musician describing his surroundings, and was enough to bag the band slots at both Laneway Festival and Splendour In The Grass this year. One of the great – and simultaneously infuriating – things about Parquet Courts is that it’s not always clear when they’re being serious and when they’re taking the piss. Undoubtedly a fine and witty wordsmith, frontman and lyricist Andrew Savage comes across as part Ivy League stiff, part frantic punk-rock poet; but his energy and commitment make him a believable street storyteller on Sunbathing Animal. Unlike the instantly explosive Light Up Gold, the album begins in more measured fashion with ‘Bodies Made Of’, before setting off at pace with ‘Black & White’ and breaking the momentum down to a slow crawl on ‘Dear Ramona’. Among the remaining full-tilt rockers are ‘Instant Disassembly’, which could easily be the soundtrack to a comedy Western, and ‘Raw Milk’, which adds a hint of blues to finish up. While they’re now opting for a more cautious approach to urban punk than the head-on take of previous work, it’s this progression which keeps Parquet Courts’ particular brand of indie-rock more exciting than most.

2 thoughts on “Record review: Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal (2014, LP)

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