Number two on my countdown list was a difficult pick. I shifted this album from #1 to #2 over and over. The struggle was real. Listening to these albums on repeat, I must admit to some weak moments questioning many of my choices, but sometimes you’ve just gotta go with it!
Parquet Courts – Wide Awake
Once again Parquet Courts pushes rock music to its edges. They have loud prickly blasts which are oddly danceable beats. The album is fully alive with sound and talent, embodying punk perfection and early 70’s rock with hints of funk. When did a guitar forward band of four talented guys become so rare? They have boldly captured a select crowd eager to hear this sound done well, and this is their best work to date. Even though Wide Awake! is their sixth album, they continue to have the dynamite to make the songs explode with anger, yet they meticulously balance the rage with enticing musical beats, tempo changes, and sick guitar passages. For every episodic rant and chant about the crazy world we live in, they provide a milder song that brilliantly gives way to a calmer moment, albeit breathless. Don’t rest your head in these too soon…searing lyrics are folded in neatly, which scream genuine songwriting talent.
In an interview with Billboard Magazine Andrew Savage described the album,
“there’s this duality between joy and anger that I find to be really interesting, and that’s something the record kind of deals with at large. I always thought it was really interesting how hardcore could be such an angry music form but could make you feel so positive. There’s a lot of moments on the record when all of us are singing at the same time and I guess that’s something I kind of associate with hardcore, or Funkadelic.”
Parquet Courts are wide eyed, insanely fierce, impassioned, and determined to light the fuse of activism, one song at a time.
Here is my updated playlist, I hope you’ll follow along.