"Human Performance" by Parquet Courts on iTunes

14 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Brooklyn art-rockers Parquet Courts have sometimes obscured their warmth under a cover of discord, challenging song structures and sardonic detachment. Their fifth album simplifies and purifies their sound to thrilling effect though. Whether they’re dovetailing or duelling, Andrew Savage and Austin Brown’s punchy riffs sublimate into the band’s poppiest hooks yet. There’s emotional engagement too, with Savage opening up his heartache and isolation on the bittersweet “Human Performance” and “Berlin Got Blurry”’s collision of thrumming post-punk and surf guitar licks.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Brooklyn art-rockers Parquet Courts have sometimes obscured their warmth under a cover of discord, challenging song structures and sardonic detachment. Their fifth album simplifies and purifies their sound to thrilling effect though. Whether they’re dovetailing or duelling, Andrew Savage and Austin Brown’s punchy riffs sublimate into the band’s poppiest hooks yet. There’s emotional engagement too, with Savage opening up his heartache and isolation on the bittersweet “Human Performance” and “Berlin Got Blurry”’s collision of thrumming post-punk and surf guitar licks.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5

26 Ratings

Cake-ish and clever

Pinchejose,

Catchy bass line and freshly clever lyrics that are almost sound like the 90's band Cake. "Sweet"!

Darlings of the hype machine

Hippi-Kat,

Popular, talented bands lIke Parquet Courts fall into a void when they start to think they’re smarter and better than everyone else after they have some success. Besides sounding preachy, they start to get sloppy, believing their own hype and producing any song they come up with instead of being a little more pragmatic with the editing button. So you wind up with an album like Human Performance, that has some outstanding songs-Human Performance, which could be the single of the year, Dust, which is a irreverent blast (no pun intended) Berlin got Blurry, but also some filler, Already Dead, I Was Just Here. Parquets Courts are very gifted, and have the potential to be amazing. Human Performance get’s closer to realizing this, but doesn’t quite hit the mark because of a few missteps. Personally, I feel this album should be ten songs long instead of fourteen. At the end of the day it’s a good album that should please old and new fans alike. It definitely leaves you looking forward to their next one where you hope they focus on their sweet spot writing pop gems instead of vapid, art rock social commentary.

About Parquet Courts

Parquet Courts' special breed of "Americana punk" began in 2010 when some former Texans who had relocated to Brooklyn began practicing and gigging regularly. The band was centered around Fergus & Geronimo songwriter Andrew Savage, and also included guitarist Austin Brown, bassist Sean Yeaton, and drummer Max Savage. Much like Teenage Cool Kids, the band Andrew Savage still split his time with back in his hometown of Denton, Texas, Parquet Courts produced noisy indie rock with jagged punk edges borrowed from late-'90s guitar-heavy alternative acts. The band played often in the greater New York area and released its first album, American Specialties, exclusively on cassette in late 2011 (a vinyl release followed in 2012). A more widely distributed full-length, Light Up Gold, was issued on the Dull Tools label in the summer of 2012, and the band's first U.S. tour followed by the end of the year. Light Up Gold quickly caught on and was reissued on Brooklyn label What's Your Rupture? in early 2013 to wider distribution. They became darlings of the indie rock world thanks to the response to the record from the press, constant touring, and their intractable charm.

When not on the road, they spent much of their time in the studio recording songs for their next record, with a five-song EP, Tally All the Things That You Broke, surfacing late in 2013. Their third album, Sunbathing Animal, was released in June of 2014, again on What's Your Rupture?, and again, members of the band followed up with a collection of more slapdash recordings almost immediately, releasing the album-length Content Nausea as Parkay Quarts in November of the same year. In March of 2015, the group's first concert recording, Live at Third Man Records, was issued. That summer, the band released split 7" singles with Big Ups (on Roekie Records) and Joey Pizza Slice (on Wharf Cat Records). Rough Trade signed Parquet Courts and released the experimental, primarily instrumental Monastic Living EP in November.

Meanwhile, they were working on their next album, which was the first to have songwriting contributions from all four members. Working at Sonelab studios in western Massachusetts and Wilco's Loft in Chicago, but mostly at Dreamland Studio in upstate New York (where the B-52s recorded "Love Shack"), the bandmembers spent their days writing songs and their nights recording them. The resulting album, early 2016's Human Performance, was their darkest and most inward-looking effort to date. In February 2017, the band released an experimental limited-edition 12" single, "Captive of the Sun," in which they collaborated with Bun B of the Texas hip-hop crew UGK as well as producers DJ Candlestick and O.G. Ron C. Later that year they released Milano, a collaborative album with Italian composer and producer Daniele Luppi. The record also featured guest vocals from Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. ~ Fred Thomas

  • ORIGIN
    Brooklyn, NY
  • FORMED
    2010

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