Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold – Album review

Robert McDonald

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The latest guitar band to burst out of New York is Parquet Courts. Garage riffs and shout-y vocals, a couple members with bad facial hair and unanimous retro slim fit t-shirts are the staples for 90 per cent of NY bands. Parquet Courts are all that but with considerable talent and tunes to go with it.

 

I’m not sure whether it is fair or un-fair to be labelled in the same bracket as ‘The Strokes’ as Parquet Courts have been by many reviewer. As ‘Is This It’ proved to more than just an album title but more an epitaph on the Strokes themselves. Egos, addiction and fame were all elements in the watered down product that came after that classic debut. Whereas Parquet Courts debut Light Up Gold is filled with promise rather than instant classic.

 

The band is already notoriously ‘frosty’ when partaking in interviews. The Fly, bore the brunt of a quite difficult bag of responses to fairly easy set of questions. Taking a special exception to their photographer trying to a get a shot that would don the front cover of the magazine:

 

“Your photographer’s rationale was if you don’t pose then they might not print it. Who the fuck cares? We don’t do photos, why should we give a shit?”

 

Two Texans with the idea of creating a ‘New York band’ started the band, Parquet Courts was their creation. Brothers Andrew and Max Savage, Sean Yeaton and Austin Brown are the members of the four-piece.

 

The 16-tracks on Light Up Gold whizz by in a flurry of garage punk. In ‘Borrowed Time’ they have an inde-disco hit straight from 2005. The buzziness oozes from the incessant riff and matter-of-fact vocal delivery.  ‘Stoned And Starving’ is a wonderful ode to Ridgewood, Queens, and as the titled would have it, the cause and effect of smoking a certain plant.

 

At times, at a distance one slight critique could be ramshackle nature of how the whole thing is lashed together. However it seems to be the aesthetic of the band. The tunes are there, they won’t push them on you and they certainly won’t polish recordings to curry any extra favour/fans.

 

All in all Parquet Courts have produced an album worthy of the hype surrounding it.  They may be the latest band to emanate from Brooklyn and won’t be the last but are well worth checking out.

 

(Parquet Courts play their first Irish gig at Electric Picnic 2013, I suspect that they’ll pull a sizeable batch of punters to pogo along to ‘Borrowed Time’)

Light Up Gold was released April 15 in Ireland.

Available in all good record stores.

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Robert McDonald

@therobbyPOP