Album Review: Parquet Courts – ‘Sunbathing Animal’


From starting life out as something of a cult-punk-act Parquet Courts can now count themselves as a bonified member of the guitar-mainstream (whether they like that stigma or not). It’s been nearly 3 years since their debut ‘Light Up Gold’ dropped on the shelves – which caught many an eye with it’s short-sharp wisecracking tracks documenting everything from the effects of being stoned to signing up to the army.

Parquet Courts are now back with their second LP ‘Sunbathing Animal’ and the first thing that is immediately noticeable is its size. The album feels chunkier and more balanced than their quick-fire debut (which barely had a track breaking the 3-minute mark) and some of that lo-fi charm has been replaced with a crisper production.

Tracks like ‘Dear Ramona’ and ‘She’s Rolling’ takes the mind to their debut and that slack vibe the band built around themselves… While the stand out comes towards the end of the record in the form of their 7-minute number ‘Instant Disassembly’… and to be honest I didn’t think they had this in them. The melodic-clean-cut revolving melodies of ‘Instant Disassembly’ shows Parquet Courts are not just a one trick pony.

Though this record feels cleaner and dare I say it more mature. It is in all truth still very much Parquet Courts with constant nods back to the likes of Television and Velvet Underground, it is a punk record not to be messed with and there’s little chance of them losing their slacker tag any time soon.

******* (7/10)

Label: Rough Trade Records
Release: June 02 2014
Reviewer: Michael Jamison