Parquet Courts: Early Impressions of a Sunbathing Animal

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“Bodies made up of slugs and guts; bodies made up of sparks and dust.”

I do love a nonchalant drawl, and arch drawlers Parquet Courts’s Light Up Gold was in my top three albums of last year (their gig at Brighton’s Audio was up there, too), so it was nice of them to not waste much time recording the follow-up.

Even before the first track has dropped, the cut n paste tiger-scrawl cover art brings to mind Pavement’s second-best LP Brighten the Corners. Beneath the surface, however, it’s far more akin to Slanted and Enchanted (especially early on, in tracks like Vienna II and the outstanding What Colour Is Blood?). This, of course, is a very good thing; because Slanted and Enchanted is in my top three albums of ALL TIME.

A few listens in, it’s clear Sunbathing Animal is neither as immediate or varied as its predecessor. If I were to be harsh I’d say a few tracks outstay their welcome and the whole thing flags a tad towards the end. But what it lacks in tunes and hooks it easily compensates for with smart lyrics and a relentless groove of laconic punk-rock cool. Perhaps this is the meaning of the title. The resting beast: outwardly indifferent, but highly sentient of its surroundings. Sleeping with one eye open.

It must take years of hard graft at slacker school to make your band sound this effortless.

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