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May 30, 2014 6:37 pm

Parquet Courts: Sunbathing Animals – review

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Parquet Courts experience the sort of belatedness that afflicts rock bands these days, the sense that it’s all been done before, that they’re latecomers to the feast – as when lead singer Andrew Savage turns on the radio to find “the last classic rock band’s last solid record” playing – a scenario from the New Yorkers’ new album, the follow-up to 2012’s excellent Light Up Gold.

But where so many of their peers are dejected into copyism by the weight of tradition preceding them, Savage and his three bandmates seem to take a perverse pleasure in it.

Sunbathing Animals is full of smartly realised moments of resignation, such as the ex-girlfriend Savage can’t stop thinking about in the title track or the repetitious lifestyle limned in “Always Back in Town”, set to intensely New Yorky music that rushes by at a spindly punk-rock clip (“Black & White”), spins off into psychedelic reverie (“She’s Rolling”) and lolls about in classic slacker fashion (“Raw Milk”).

The tone is sardonic, abrasive, arrogant and surreal, Savage drawling some of the lyrics, at other times barking them out as though one step ahead of us. “There’s nothing left to dismantle,” he sings: “The house it just collapsed in on itself.”


Parquet Courts

Sunbathing Animals

(Rough Trade)

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