Parquet Courts, Tally All the Things that You Broke

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 10.15.13 in Reviews
A brief set of messily but cunningly crafted misfit songs

If last year’s Light Up Gold was Parquet Courts’ Slanted and Enchanted — and the New York City-based band hasn’t exactly gone out of its way to downplay Pavement comparisons — then this peppy, gnarly EP is the band’s Watery, Domestic: a brief set of messily but cunningly crafted misfit songs that that build on the strengths they’ve already established and extend their range beyond the earlier record’s hit-it-and-quit-it aesthetic. “Descend (The Way)” comes off at first like a very short song whose length has been doubled with a protracted, disintegrating jam, but then it abruptly pulls itself together for a final chorus. The title of the terse, galumphing “Fall on Your Face” gives the game away: The Fall, circa Grotesque, appear to have inspired a lot of Parquet Courts’ current ideas, both musical and visual. “The More It Works” is a monomaniacal incantation played at triple speed, with brambles of feedback and fretboard-groping solos. And “He’s Seeing Paths” — seven-and-a-half minutes of cheap drum machine, “Loser”-style rapping and amp squeals — should by all rights be impossibly annoying (and would overwhelm any album it appeared on), but the band digs into it with so much gusto that it ends up being a peculiar delight.