Earlier this month, Brooklyn punk-rockers Parquet Courts released their second album Sunbathing Animal on What’s Your Rapture/ Mom + Pop.
Sunbathing Animal is anything but a sophomore slump album. Throughout all thirteen tracks, the band explores various musical techniques ranging from classic punk-rock to a sensitive rock ballad. The album starts off with some punk anthems such as Black & White and What Color Is Blood. Then, Parquet Courts decide to slow it down with the hypnotic rhythm of She’s Rolling, a six and a half minute song with minimal, repetitious lyrics that lets its thick baseline do most of the talking. Lead singer Andrew Savage delivers the lyrics in a disinterested chant that is sure to linger in your thoughts all day. Despite all these great tracks, the real star of this album is the seven minute rock ballad Instant Disassembly. A totally different direction than the band’s normally punk sound, this song is one big rambling confessional that is sure to sucker-punch you in the heart.
Although Parquet Courts’ first album Light Up Gold was a strong debut, with songs such as Stoned And Starving and Master Of My Craft, it just can’t compete with Sunbathing Animal, which takes the raw energy from their first album and concentrates it into a piece of modern-punk gold. While Light Up Gold has that loud, frantic feeling of adolescence, Sunbathing Animal sounds like the mature 20-something who’s still trying to figure some things out.
As with anything done by Parquet Courts, Sunbathing Animal is riddled with metaphors and lyrics that will haunt you long after you stop playing the album. Parquet Courts isn’t just a bunch of punks, they’re clever punks. With questions like, “Stripes or bars? Are they yours?” taunting listeners on the album cover, this band is trying to get you to dig deep. The whole album meditates on relationships and freedom through vivid lyrics such as, “this lady is a hypnosis poet and when she speaks her words weep like rain,” on their mellow track Dear Ramona.
Bottom line, this album is raw and polished in all the right ways. Parquet Courts’ new release proves that punk-rock can blow out your speakers and have a heart all at once.
KimCheezy’s Favorite Tracks: She’s Rolling, Ducking & Dodging, Instant Disassembly.