Review Summary: Parquet Courts latest album is one of the best post-punk albums of the decade, maybe even of the century.
Filled with raw energy and uncompromising political message, Parquet Courts Wide Awake! is one of the best albums of this year. Experimental post-punk outfit Parquet Courts return with their strongest album to date. Their left-wing message is clearly visible from the lyrics, for example in Violence: "A cause, an effect, a rejoice, a regret / Violence is daily life / A promise a pact that the world never kept / Violence is daily life".
Parquet Courts sound is almost melancholic on some songs such as Mardi Gras Beads. The overall feeling of the album is quite pessimistic with apocalypse being the theme on Before the Water Gets Too High and Death Will Bring Change telling about death of Austin's sister.
The instrumentation and song writing on this album is very experimental and varying. Violence has organs in it and Before the Water Gets Too High has dub/ska influences. Normalization is also pretty experimental, especially with the long outro. The title track is almost Talking Heads -esque disco-punk, which is not a bad thing. It's probably the most positive and funniest track on this record.
This is a very solid and standout record with many good songs. It shows that post-punk is still going strong.