Parquet Courts are unapologetically New York. Or so they like to think. “New York felt like my home before I moved there,” claimed front man, Andrew Savage, in a recent interview with the ailing music rag, NME. And while there are obligatory strokes of Sonic Youth, Television and Velvet Underground, Parquet Courts’ loose-lipped and lethargic garage-punk – test run on American Specialties, distilled on Light Up Gold – has more affinity with Pavement and Minutemen, with side roots in Northern Texas, where Savage incubated the beginnings of the band.
Lyrically, Parquet Courts transcend state barriers. The band write on behalf of the indifferent 20-somethings – or, as Savage prefers to call them in liner notes, “the over-socialized victims of the 1990′s” – the world over, of which I am, and probably, you are one. Whether they are looking for a job, looking for a snack or looking for a goddamn purpose, Parquet Courts are all at once driven by ambition and disabled by apathy – an oxymoronic thread that runs through the band’s entire oeuvre:
I was up to my neck in motivation neglect when
I felt soft waves of purpose crashing onto the surface.
I was feeling nostalgic for the days when
My thoughts dripped on to my head from the ceiling.
I remember the feeling
Periodic inertia aside, when it comes to his pen and ink, Savage is no slacker. “The writing always comes first – all the melodies and all the music are worked around the writing,” he explained to Pitchfork. It’s hardly surprising, coming from the wordsmith behind sage one-liners like “Socrates died in the fuckin’ gutter” and “At night we hum to Canada’s snoring.” And while his band’s two-minute give-or-take, smash-and-grab vignettes are not so much breaking ground as they are busting guts, who’s to say Parquet Courts would have it any other way: