Reviews

Parquet Courts
Human Performance

(Rough Trade)

8/10

Considering the shoeing that 2015’s ‘Monastic Living’ received, it’s unsurprising to find Andrew Savage and pals abandoning their instrumental, noise-rock experiments after one EP. Instead, ‘Human Performance’ is the sound of a band hurtling back in the opposite direction to deliver melodic alt-rock packed with droll observations.

As per last LP ‘Content Nausea’, Parquet Courts’ compositions remain rooted in ideas of anxiety and disorientation. Savage’s insouciant drawl seems custom-designed for sifting through the detritus of modern-day living, as evident on ‘Dust’ where he makes the most banal of subjects seem sinister. He continues to sound thoroughly beaten down on the regret-fuelled title track, but its sentiments are balanced by a summery, 60s-inspired melody.

There’s a lot of brightness here, be it the sleepy, Pavement-esque ‘Steady On My Mind’ or the bongo-flecked swing of ‘One Man, No City’ – which culminates in ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’-style noodling – and these sunny interludes accentuate the ferocity of ‘Human Performance’’s more garage-y moments. By stepping back, Parquet Courts have taken a leap forward.

Please support Loud And Quiet if you can

If you’re a fan of what we do, please consider subscribing to L&Q to help fund our support of new musicians and independent labels

You can make a big difference for a few pounds per month, and in return we’ll send you our magazines, exclusive flexi discs, and other subscriber bonus bits and pieces

Try for a month and cancel anytime