Parquet Courts - Live At Third Man Records [VINYL]

by Rob Taylor Rating:8 Release Date:2015-03-03

Parquet Courts released one of the albums of 2014 with Sunbathing Animal. Since 2013 the band has also recorded their brand of slanted, truculent punk melodies under moniker, Parkay Quarts. Parquet Courts join Mudhoney, The Shins, The Melvins and others in recording live to acetate at Jack White’s Third Man Records, Nashville TN in front of a small and adoring audience.

Live at Third Man Records showcases 10 tracks from the Sunbathing Animal album, but also includes ‘Descend’ from Tally All the Things You Broke [Parkay Quarts]. Most of the tracks are reproduced faithfully in versions similar to the studio album. However, there are a few variations.

There is a more discernible bass rumble beneath the surface of ‘Always Back in Town’, which gives the track extra thrust. The guitar interplay on ‘Dear Ramona’ accentuates the mismatch of detuned guitar and straight rhythm strumming, carefully buttressing the track from any cloying loveliness. Clever programming sees excoriating rocker ‘Descend’ come up next, reminding the listener that Parquet Courts are, after all, not just Pavement wannabes, but righteous young punks.

In the same way, the almost bothersome inertia of ‘Instant Disassembly’ is kept from derailment by the melodic guitar-line’s subtle change of course, the tone mimicking a heavy sighing suited to the soul-bearing lyric: “Mamasita, I’ve prepared my defence/ flawed as ever in the drunkest tense”. Parquet Courts do this stuff really well, they project anger, confusion, remorse and bemusement in equal measure, a sign of an intelligent young band, even if I’ve caught a photo of Andrew Savage wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the words ‘Don’t fear guns, fear a government that fears guns’ Not the sort of anti-establishment message you expect from a ‘slugs and guts’ left-field indie-punk outfit.

The live setting enables Parquet Courts to experiment on track ‘Raw Milk’, the latter five minutes given over to streams of guitar feedback, reminding me of the Dead Kennedy’s track ‘Holiday in Cambodia’, and I mean that as a compliment. A tight structure keeps the discordance from being overcooked.

The frenzied closer, 'Sunbathing Animal', is a final reminder of the limitless energy this band exudes. Coming to a NRA retail outlet near you.

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