Transplants from Denton, Texas, to Brooklyn, Parquet Courts’ first full-length LP, 2012’s Light Up Gold, established the band as an heir to the legacy of shaggy, guitar-driven indie rock, in the vein of The Feelies, Sonic Youth and Guided By Voices. The band’s breakout single, “Stoned and Starving” (inspired, according to guitarist/vocalist Andrew Savage, by the difficulty of picking out good vegan junk food), earned Parkay Quarts (as the band is sometimes stylized) late-night appearances on Letterman and Fallon.
The band, built around the brotherly duo of Andrew and Max Savage, follows in the tradition of great fraternal pairings in rock music, from Ray and Dave Davies, of the Kinks; the Wilson brothers, of the Beach Boys; and the Ramones (that’s a joke.) Though some may be turned off by the Thurston Moore-style “cool guy” posturing, the band has gained a large following of record-store types (of which, of course, I am guilty) and attracted the attention of Pittsburgh locals The Gotobeds, who “accidentally” smashed a copy of Light Up Gold in their first music video.
On the band’s new record, Human Performance, Savage sings about existential monotony with the kind of flat affect that one would expect from an indie-rock band from New York. It’s clear that the members of Parquet Courts owe a lot to their idols, and they’re not trying to create something shockingly new, but rather emulate what they love and have loved about rock music. Savage played in Denton punk and indie bands since he was a teen, and it’s nice to see someone finally find success after years of obscurity.