More think pieces have been written in the last few weeks about Parquet Courts and their particular brand of spastic, nervy New York indie punk than all the meta-musical topics of 2014 together. But the attention is deserved, as brothers Andrew and Max Savage, with Austin Brown and Sean Yeaton, curated a grab bag of music-connoisseur influences (Velvet Underground, Television, Wire, Pavement) into their own heady mix. Sunbathing Animal also represents a methodical expansion of their sound. Electrifying tracks like “Black and White” and “What Color Is Blood” strut with more deliberation than anything on their live-wire debut, Light Up Gold, while “Raw Milk” and “Instant Disassembly” are the most measured, tender-hearted numbers of this band’s career. But deep album cut “Ducking and Dodging” retains the urgency that made these guys famous, while “Vienna II” and “Up All Night” might be the finest one-minute snippets of incisive indie rock ever laid to tape. There’s no telling where Parquet Courts go from here – but if it’s as creatively evolved as Sunbathing Animal, it’ll be another resounding success.
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