Parquet Courts - Tally All The Things That You Broke

by Steve Reynolds Rating:8.5 Release Date:2013-10-07

There's no doubt that Parquet Court's Light Up Gold will appear in most top ten album of the year listings, and to be quite frank it's worthy of that tag. The lo-fi ramshackle sound which they so amiably adopted plus the familiarity to their major influences - The Fall and Pavement - torpedoed a dormant indie scene like a dose of the clap, added to the fact that they made short, sharp, truncated songs of all things slacker made their aesthetic so much more important this year.

So less than 12 months after their debut, they are back with new EP 'Tally All The Things That You Broke' and in all honesty they haven't buckled under and tried to reinvent themselves. What they have done is be much more expansive in parts and avant-garde in their song arrangement. However to avoid a complete sea change that could frighten off their current fan base they have stuck with the core elements which made 'LUG' so taut and welcoming. Opener 'You've got me wondering now' sees frontman Andrew Savage languidly jovial in his refrain, all set to a blanket of swirling guitar sheen and chugging rhythm section. In the background you can hear the atonal sounds of a recorder; it's completely out of tune but simply adds to the cuddliness of the song.

'Descend The Way' is much more incoherent and Savage's vitriol bark continues to pack a venomous punch, at times I cannot understand a fucking thing he is saying, quite similar in the way that Mark E Smith made a lifetime career out of.

It's on track 3, 'The more it works' is when there is a window of light about where Parquet Courts are looking to take their sound. Weighing in at 5 minutes plus and punctuated with Savages's off kilter playground shouting, their own arcane jamming and loose arrangement puts them in a brave new world, one that is outside of their comfort zone but has a slyly coy quality about it.

'Fall On Your Face' is throwaway and at 90 seconds is irrelevant to the continued progress that Parquet courts are trying to make, and is a black mark against the EP.

But they save the best till last with the Tom Tom Club influenced 'He's Seeing Paths', a mash up of cowbells, throbbing bass, assorted percussion (basically anything they can lay their hands on) and jabbed keyboards. It's a departure from their previously recordings as the trademark guitar sound is a million miles away from here and warrants justification on the EP due to the sheer front and guile they have for putting it out. Its 7 minutes long for fuck's sake and is effectively a dance song.

It's a brave new world for the band but their willingness to be innovative and cross new borders will hold them in good stead in 2014.

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