Parquet Courts: Light Up Gold (Album Review)

Parquet Courts

Everyone seems to be talking about Parquet Courts lately, so I thought I’d throw my name into the hat and say: Me too! And here’s the conundrum. The album came out in August on Dull Tools, but it comes out (again!?) on January 15 via What’s Your Rupture? Records. So do we classify it as a 2012 album or a 2013? Given the year-end lists have been compiled and the fact that I really, really dig Light Up Gold, I’m saying 2013.

The first thing you’ll notice upon listening to opening tracks “Master of My Craft” and “Borrowed Time” is that Parquet Courts fit the comfortable ground between post-punk and drone-rock, with an emphasis on the former. This trend continues throughout Light Up Gold, all fifteen songs on the record.

Songs like “Stoned And Alone” and “Yonder is Closer to the Heart” have a cynical and witty edge to them that are on par with what we heard last year from Vancouver post-punk band Peace, but I think Parquet Courts pull it off a bit better. Likewise, these tracks are filled with great hooks that even 15 tracks can’t satiate — it’ll leave you wanting more. Fronted by Austin Brown and Andy Savage, the duo pack a lot into their songs; they seem almost wordy when written on a page, but the two have masterfully kept the songs, well, near perfect.

Savage pens the following about the LP in its liner notes: “This record is for the over-socialized victims of the 1990’s ‘you can be anything you want’, Nickelodeon-induced lethargy that ran away from home not out of any wide-eyed big city daydream, but just out of a subconscious return to America’s scandalous origin.” (Pulled from Parquet Courts’ bandcamp page.)

That’s one sentence — a mouthful — and quite appropriate. Light Up Gold is fun. Super fun. And highly energetic. And that’s just at its core. Dig deeper and you’ll pick up more and more, from that which is in the lyrics to those subtleties between the lines.

Download: “Borrowed Time” by Parquet Courts

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Parquet Courts Light Up GoldWhat’s Your Rupture? [LP, 2013]

1. Master Of My Craft
2. Borrowed Time
3. Donuts Only
4. Yr No Stoner
5. Yonder Is Closer To The Heart
6. Careers In Combat
7. Light Up Gold I
8. Light Up Gold II
9. N Dakota
10. Stoned And Starving
11. No Ideas
12. Caster Of Worthless Spells
13. Disney P.T.
14. Tears Of Plenty
15. Picture Of Health

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