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Album Review

Parquet Courts – Human Performance

Parquet Courts - Human Performance

Infectious from the word go, and brimming with longevity.

Label: Rough Trade
Released: 8th April 2016

Rating: ★★★★

When Andrew Savage talks of “mid-sentence tremors” and his mind being “at its weakest” on the title-track of Parquet Courts’ fifth LP, it becomes hard to ignore that something has changed. The band are known for locking into garage rock grooves almost tribally; their alacritous, repetitious off-kilter racket doesn’t give them time to think too much. ‘Human Performance’ changes all of that.

‘I Was Just Here’ is a menacing blast of self-depreciating post-punk, ‘Steady On My Mind’ unexpectedly recalls Elliott Smith at his most soul-destroying, and closer ‘It’s Gonna Happen’ is a fittingly eerie send off. Few bands introvert so arrestingly.

It’s a record rooted in nostalgia, melancholy and fragility. Refusing to utterly succumb to the singer/songwriter archetype for dealing with such subject matters, Parquet Courts have written a record that maintains their brash charm but takes more time to consider itself. ‘Human Performance’ is infectious from the word go, and brimming with longevity. Marty Hill