Parquet Courts

Sunbathing Animal

Written by: PP on 03/12/2014 23:54:59

Here's yet another example of how fundamentally I disagree with Pitchfork's opinion on music. What they hail as one of the albums of the year is one yours truly finds boring and totally pretentious, a fact reinforced by the Parquet Court's stubborn refusal to have a presence on Facebook (their loss, missing out on who knows how many fans in the process). Drawing from the likes of Cake, Beck, and of course Pavement, the band deliver a quirky and massively awkward brand of indie rock with odd melodies and unusual soundscapes on their sophomore album "Sunbathing Animal", but reach nowhere near the introverted emotional brilliance of Pavement at their very best.

Instead, the garage undertones found within their record are repetitive, the indie-flavored guitars that are modified and effects-laden wherever possible feel nothingsaying and off-tune to say the least, and in general the record carries an irritating hipster vibe surrounding it's songs that purposefully try to go the opposite direction of the norm when it comes to melody. Fact is, this is what Pavement were very good at, but they never sounded hipster or pretentious in the process. Parquet Courts on the other hand do exactly that, and outside the Brooklyn realms and Pitchfork readership stuff like this will never pick up in popularity because of how stubborn it is to sound so anti-melody in its approach to songwriting. A few rare tracks like "Dear Ramona" and "Instant Disassembly" suggest otherwise, as does the fast-paced "Sunbathing Animal" track that actually drew me to check out this album given its frenetic garage rock approach. Oh, how sorely you are disappointed you'll be for the rest of the album if you think this song is at all representative of how its namesake album sounds like.

Instead, you get slow, weirdo indie tracks toying with different effects pedals, odd melody structures, and a vocalist that couldn't write a good verse/chorus even if his life depended on it. Just because it sounds artsy and hipster doesn't mean it's good, Pitchfork, and Parquet Courts is exhibit A on that.


Download: Dear Ramona, Instant Disassembly, Sunbathing Animal
For the fans of: Cake, Pavement, The National Rifle, Beck
Listen: Facebook

Release date 02.06.2014
Rough Trade

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