Parquet Courts
Sunbathing Animal


3.5
great

Review

by Joseph Viney STAFF
July 7th, 2014 | 14 replies


Release Date: 06/03/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Court is in session once more

The first question Sunbathing Animal asks of the listener is “Does lightning strike twice?” In this case, the album might not be able to summon a brace of electrical storms, but certainly some heavy rain and high winds.

2013’s Light Up Gold was a vague masterpiece in terms of showing how a really stripped back group can still present some real magic. Given that most of the group are from New York, all of the obvious influences tend be in place; Lou Reed, The Strokes, Ramones, sunglasses indoors, affected detached urban cool.

Essentially, bands like Parquet Courts do well for themselves because, while they might not speak *for* us, they certainly speak *to* us. Most of us have been “Stoned and Starving” after all.

A year of plaudits, fawning and general tomfoolery doesn’t appear to have skewed PQ’s current formula a great deal. Sunbathing Animal, for the most part, continues from where we left off last year.

The same tricks and ticks are deployed: lyrics that veer across street poetry and post-modern perspectives, music that pinches poses from late-70s new wave and its surrounding genres and the overall sense that, no matter what, you’ll end up as *** on somebody’s shoe eventually.

PQ are at their best when they’re short, sweet and erratic. “Dear Ramona” stands as a tale of the woman we all really want to be with, even if they do leave you tearing your hair and heart out. You know the type: pale, arty, probably had some godawful DeviantArt account stashed away as a teenager.

Or maybe that’s just my tastes. Anyway…

“Vienna II” wraps up all of their best parts in a 1:02 sized package. Weird lyrics, jaunty rhythms and over before you know it.

Elsewhere, “Always Back In Town” and “Ducking & Dodging” are fun, angular exercises in both getting the party started and ruining it. With that in mind, the album’s title track would be the one to tear the building down too; its relentless pace and vortex of noise gets the blood up and refuses to let it down.

The instances where PQ go out of their comfort zone appear here as the record’s lowlights. “She’s Rolling” and “Instant Disassembly” are too long, too unexciting and leaves the album’s vitality swinging loosely like a ballsack in front of your horrified eyes.

But, on the spread of it, two albums in two years, both of more-than-above-average quality provide enough evidence to show that their best might yet come.



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user ratings (63)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 7th 2014


10359 Comments


Viney in the house < 3

I think I'd love these guys.

iswimfast
July 7th 2014


1340 Comments


i wish this band made me feel things.

but they don't.

Hep Kat
July 7th 2014


15356 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good album but i wish they would do something more like the tape

Hep Kat
July 7th 2014


15356 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

disappointing live too

zakalwe
July 7th 2014


8867 Comments


Loved the last one and this thankfully rules.

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Sleaper
July 8th 2014


3419 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is ok. nothing memorable, but not too boring

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Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
July 8th 2014


3186 Comments


i think i'd hate this but hooray for viney rev

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Irving
Staff Reviewer
July 8th 2014


7318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Viney in the house < 3 [2]

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cvlts
July 8th 2014


8977 Comments


that review summary is too easy lol

tom79
July 8th 2014


3380 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Light Up Gold rules, gotta get this

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psandy
July 8th 2014


75 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this record and I think you did it justice. Great review.

Kiran
Emeritus
July 8th 2014


6002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i love instant disassembly! i actually thought it was one of their most accomplished songs to date. i do agree that there are moments in this record where they feel a bit lost but i don't think that's one of them.

light up gold had such a perfect mix of attitude, timing and songwriting that i tempered my expectations for this, and it's a fine album but it lacks something in personality that light up gold served in spades.

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clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2014


6505 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a really great follow-up to Light Up Gold. Slowing down the tempo a bit and giving more attention to detail.

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NorthernSkylark
July 30th 2014


4279 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

excuse me as I slip on out

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