With their balance between parody and celebration of the 90’s rock sound, Parquet Courts have drawn constant comparisons to Californian outfit Pavement. Doing for the genre what their predecessors did for 80’s indie rock, the Brooklyn by-way-of-Texas post-punk revivalists (and commercial flooring enthusiasts) churn out fast, funny garage rock.
With their third album hitting shelves a few weeks ago, they’ve outgrown the comparisons and perfected their slack-ass clang.
For a band who have become the quintessential pin up babes for a generation of unemployed stoners, Parquet Courts work fucking hard.
The Parquet quartet formed in 2010 after frontman Andrew Savage and guitarist/co-vocalist Austin Brown met at the University of North Texas and came together in New York. Back at uni, the two shared their musical loves in a cool-dude record-listening club called the Knights of the Round Turntable (lol).
Their music nerdiness continued when the band released their debut American Specialties in 2011 as a limited cassette-only collection. They picked up the pace on their second studio album Light Up Gold, released on Savage’s own Dull Tools label in 2012 and later reissued on What’s Your Rupture? in 2013.
The album received huge acclaim in both underground and mainstream press, garnering them “90’s slacker heroes” status.
Stoned and Starving proved to be their breakthrough track, the climactic guitar groove detailing a heroic expedition of curing the munchies in Queens. Catchy, quick and hilarious, it serves up lyrical gold like “I was reading ingredients/I was asking myself, ‘Should I eat this?’’.
Coming in at number six on Rolling Stones’ 100 Best Songs of 2013, it is a fan favourite that has grown into a twin-guitar chilled-out goliath, touching double-digit minutes when blazed out in their live set.
With third effort Sunbathing Animal released earlier in the month, Parquet Courts have proven themselves to have a work ethic that contrasts their slacker looseness. Recorded over the course of three studio sessions – the first of which yielded the Tally All the Things That You Broke EP last year – the boys squeezed in recording between long runs of touring.
Brown assures that it is far from rushed though, noting that Parquet have had the wood on the writing process since the last album, and that “If anything, we took our time”. The result is deeper than their previous offerings, with Brown and Savage trading off deadpan vocals – mostly about arty girls – amongst endearing guitar rambles.
Having graced local stages earlier in the year at Laneway Festival, you can catch them again at the end of July if you were lucky enough to get a Splendour ticket; the boys having time for just the one appearance on a massive world tour sandwiched in between Fuji Rock Festival and Lollapolooza.
If you missed out and you want a Parquet Courts experience, you could smoke a joint and go to Woolworths.
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