Parquet Courts / Light Up Gold 12 inch
There’s a lyric on Master Of My Craft, the first track of Parquet Courts’ Light Up Gold, that sums up the record’s approach; “I didn’t come here to dream or teach the world things/Define paradigms, or curate no livin’ days”. It’s irreverent, dorky fun and embracing of a proud faux-nihilism.
That, in a nutshell, is Light Up Gold. There’s no doubt this album will divide people into lovers and haters and that seems to have been known during every moment of the album’s creation. Highlights like The Fall-reminiscent Careers In Combat and almost-but-not-quite-post-punkLight Up Gold II show the band know exactly how to write a catchy and groovy song but revel in merely showing that off, rather than delivering it. Not that these aren’t great tunes, they just ring as being great outlines and, like the best concerts, they leave you wanting more.
Every song on this frankly great, record is a snapshot of a pointless moment. This is slacker rock done without slacking off; there’s a weird drive present in the band’s oddly plodding and mid-pace punk. Described in individual ideas, the record shouldn’t work; it’s not angry enough to be a punk classic or relaxed enough to be a summer stoner gem – instead sitting somewhere in between. This record is hardly for everyone – it’s angular, too poppy yet not poppy enough and proud in its embrace of the banal. Who knows if Parquet Courts can keep this tone up for a long career, but if you buy into Light Up Gold, for 33 minutes it’s damn near all you’ll ever want to hear.