Parquet Courts, The Institute, Birmingham 23/06/14

Parquet Courts
Brighton’s The Wytches let out a Cult like Goth grunge roar, invoking various degrees of frenzied audience possession. Vocalist Kristian Bell shrieks through a mat of hair obscuring his face as they scythe their way into your brain.
Andrew Savage’s urgent tirade of “Duckin’ and Dodgin’” from latest album “Sunbathing Animal”, kicks off Parquet Courts’ set. With guitars that have the power to simultaneously pummel and enmesh, “Bodies Made Of” signify that from the off they have the audience right where they want them. Savage passes vocal duties to Austin Brown for the slacker delight of “Dear Ramona” before they unleash the colossus of “Light Up Gold’s” “Master of My Craft” which stays true to the album and rushes headlong into “Borrowed Time”. “What Color is Blood” another track from their latest release adopts Bowie’s “Boys Keep Swinging” groove and sees the first of the crowd surfers make their lofty way to the stage. “Descend (The Way)” causes people to splay and bounce like malfunctioning robots, perpetuated by Brown’s ability to make his guitar screech in agony.
At times, the combined efforts of the three Brooklyn guitarists produces squalls of ear-bleeding noise. At others it is like a crossing of the streams with the power to blow you away. “Instant Disassembly” brings a country groove and offers something more tangible to grab hold of. Another track from “Sunbathing Animal” it shows how even on their later stuff Parquet Courts can be an accessible band, channelling the spirit of Television. The punk attitude of we play you listen soon comes round again with the off kilter wig out of “Raw Milk” nearing something more akin to Lou Reed’s “Metal Machine Music”. No-one knows where we are headed, but there is the hope that we will soon arrive. Intrigue turns to bemusement as Brown slides the mic up and down his strings as more of a statement rather than a question. Common ground is achieved through “Light Up Gold” that kicks like a mule and leaves the crowd with bruised shins.
With bassist Sean Yeaton in danger of head banging himself into unconsciousness “Sunbathing Animal” closes the set. No encore, no “Stoned and Starving” which is a disappointment. But then Parquet Courts are a band that will please themselves and keep everyone guessing.

Andrew Gutteridge

Music obsessive and wild swimmer. Compensating for the toil of the daily grind by living a diluted rock star life through reviewing and gig-going. Brought up on the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac and forever caught up in the myth behind the legend. Finding a voice and hoping that people will hear.
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Andrew Gutteridge

Music obsessive and wild swimmer. Compensating for the toil of the daily grind by living a diluted rock star life through reviewing and gig-going. Brought up on the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac and forever caught up in the myth behind the legend. Finding a voice and hoping that people will hear.

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