Turntable handle
Dec 6, 2018

Parquet Courts - Wide Awake - Funk Punk With Something To Say

Wide Awake is an awesome new album by indie rock band Parquet Courts.  It rocks, has great grooves and a whole lot to say. This is the first Parquet Courts album that I've heard. They have five more.  So I've got a lot of catching up to do. 

Much of the album is an aggressive showcase of societal anger skillfully presented in a mashup of funk and punk, with some sixties pop, maybe a little Bowie and a whole lot more thrown in for good measure. PC has a lot to say.  Most of the anger is on side A.  Side B is a little more diverse.  But I really love the funk punk of Side A.  It opens with Total Football, a raw rocker, driven by electric guitars and a funky bass line, that builds to a screaming conclusion . . .

"Collectivism and autonomy
Are not mutually exclusive
Those who find discomfort
In your goals of liberation
Will be issued
No apology
And fuck Tom Brady"

I'm a Pats fan and Michigan man, but that last line just makes me smile.

Total Football Youtube Video

The next song is even angrier.  Simply titled Violence. It features a driving bass line and kick ass organ remeniscent of The Doors.

Violence happens everyday.
It's hard to get used to getting used to Violence . . .
. . .Savage is my name because savage is how I feel
When the radio wakes me up with the words, 'suspected gunman'
My name is a warning for the acts you are about to witness
Which contains images some viewers may find disturbing
My name belongs to us all
So if they ask for yours, give them mine.
My name is a threat. . . .
. . .Riot. . . is a word to use to deligitimize your unrest
and to make your resistance into an overeaction."
It's worth noting that when he says "Savage is my name", he's being literal.  The frontman's name is Andrew Savage and he goes by simply A Savage.

The next song, Before The Water Gets Too High, is another highlight featuring organ and a killer funky bass line.  It's not quite as raw and angry as Violence and Total Football, but as a statement on corruption, still has plenty to say.

Before the water gets too high
Add up the bribes you take
and the time can't be bought
By the profits that you make.
Before the water gets too high
To float the powers that be
or is it someone else's job
until the rich are refugees.

Tenderness closes the albums closes on a more melodic seemingly happier note with some pleasing Warren Zevon Excitable Boy like piano.  But of course the music says happy while the lyrics say otherwise.  There are many other highlights.  Mardi Gras Beads has a lighter sound that kind of reminds of The Beach Boys, with a little extra umph.  Freebird II is a melodic rocking anthem.  

As I mentioned at the top, Wide Awake is my first exposure to Parquet Courts.  I'm really glad that I found them. This really is an aweseome album Check them out. Start with Wide Awake cause it rocks!

- Alan Likes Music