Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal
Sunbathing Animal, the latest album by Brooklyn beatniks Parquet Courts, is 13 tracks of angsty poetry, bawled over a steady rock rhythm and jangling guitars. After releasing their first album on cassette, 2013s breakthrough album, Light Up Gold, boasted 15 energetic tracks that earned the group their underground following. The band maintains their punk edge here with discordant clean guitar sounds, making way for loose distorted riffs that pierce like a needle.
Comparisons to early Pavement still hold true, with Violent Femmes style of quick simple beats providing the rhythm, but as they mature, Parquet Courts are on verge of making such analogies irrelevant. Tracks like Dear Ramona and Raw Milk are sweeter, softer takes on the band’s hard edge. Title track, Sunbathing Animal, on the other hand is four minutes of fast paced, off-the-wall poetry shouted at a thousand miles an hour.
Parquet Courts are a band who want their writing to be taken seriously. Between beat poet lyrical rhythms and the cultist chants on Vienna II it’s clear that there’s a big focus on words on the album. The childlike chorus on the opening track (“Bodies made of slugs and guts”) belies the commendable effort put into some genuinely fun and interesting lyrics.
Sunbathing Animal is a more confident album than Light Up Gold. The band is happy to play with our expectations and free themselves from constrictive songwriting structures, but it also means the album is less instantly accessible than the two minute wonders from their 2013 breakout. Sunbathing Animal is not going to be for everyone, but I’m not sure frontmen Austin Brown and Andrew Savage would have it any other way.
Joe Manners Lewis
Sunbathing Animal was released on 2nd June 2014. For further information or to order the album visit Parquet Courts’ website here.
Watch the video for Sunbathing Animal here: