Gabriel Naughton examines Parquet Courts’ new single

Life

New York guitar bands are enjoying a bad patch. Rock and roll is for dweeby poindexters. People don’t listen to songs over 3 minutes long, let alone whole albums. Musical malaise is a theme of this single, which was released by Parquet Courts under the less-than-cryptic moniker of Parkay Quarts. American in its structure and subject matter, the ambling epic tells the story of a gun-totin’ redneck set against the backdrop of a burned-out Graceland. Like tourists in a veterans’ graveyard, the four-piece roam around the remains of the South. The song is a progression from some of the longer tracks on their second album, Sunbathing Animal, lyrically ambitious and listenable at the same time. Lead singer and guitarist, Andrew Savage builds from a drawling description of his landscape to an exasperated yell. Lynyrd Skynyrd famously responded to Neil Young’s attack on Southern culture when they wrote Sweet Home Alabama. With this single it feels as if the band are exploring their own political apathy, or perhaps simply seeking some inspiration for a self-indulgent “Freebird” solo.

 

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