A couple of months ago, we told you about Parquet Courts, the brand new project from former area musicians Andrew Savage, Max Savage, and Austin Brown, who have since relocated to Brooklyn. The group is rounded out by Daniel Striped Tiger’s Sean Yeaton.
A. Savage played in such notable acts as Wiccans, Teenage Cool Kids and Fergus and Geronimo; Brown DJ’d under the name Young Doc Gooden and eventually played in The Keepsies after moving. Both were an active part of Denton’s rather busy music scene, that at that time centered around hangouts and house venues such as 715 Panhandle and Muscle Beach.
Originally, Parquet Courts took the long way around of announcing their arrival. Their first transmission actually contained no actual music by the group. Instead, a mix-tape was presented that featured sonic and philosophical influences. I thought it was a great move, one that stood out from the many “Here’s our new band: like us, add us, follow us” kind of throwaway PR announcements. Still, I know that the many people that have tracked the rather interesting career-path of these gentlemen have been looking forward to hearing material from the new band.
So, the wait is over. Andrew Savage gave word over the weekend that the band had made available two tracks on the group’s blog as free downloads.
The first is entitled “Her Boyfriend’s Band,” a hissing, distorted piece of succinct, down-stroke brat rock. While it’s not anywhere near as toxic and angry as Savage’s work in Wiccans for instance, it is quite a departure from the good-time pop singalongs of Teenage Cool Kids. It’s also more straightforward than the disjointed quirk of Fergus and Geronimo’s finished product.
Mere seconds into the track you are reminded of so many 90’s indie rock albums that had that one song that was much more fierce and convincing than the rest of the record, which always left the listener asking, “Well, why couldn’t the rest of the album sound like this?” as if to be so loud and forceful is some sort of novelty meant for less sophisticated acts.
But that leads us to the other offered download. “Other Desert Cities” starts off in a manner much more drone-oriented than the music for which this gang is respectively known. Clocking in at six minutes, it’s also longer. The song then goes on to build and fall and basically show off, revealing quite a bit of range along the way.
Savage gives a nearly drugged deadpan before and after picking up the pace. A lyricist who has always hinted at something far beyond the teenage vignettes he verbally constructs, he gives us these unforgettable lines:
She had eyes like a Taco Bell Drive-Thru
Open late, and there on purpose
I went inside and said what i wanted
Went to the counter, but I got no service
Nothing is more nauseatingly overdone to me than the retreading of a young man’s romantic ineptitude in rock music, going all the way back to “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” if you’ll allow an outright cliché. Even though Parquet Courts is channeling the anemic cynicism of Mark E. Smith more than Jagger, just like the best moment in that man’s flagship song, the group is placing themselves somewhere else altogether. It’s not just her, or us that’s not working. It’s everyone else. It’s cigarettes, it’s fast food, it’s everything.