Wide Awake passes the Turing test

Parquet Courts at SXSW 2013

Wide Awake, the new album from Parquet Courts, is a relief. I’d almost given up on these guys. In his production of the album, Danger Mouse has helped bring them back to their core strengths, while at the same time becoming a bit like the musical equivalent of Prozac. He makes the overall experience less discordant and much, much more enjoyable than the band’s work since their breakthrough album, but he also rounds off the edges a bit. In a few tracks, the boys hit their post-punk target with the same raw power and wit (“Do I pass the Turing test?”) that was so evident in Light Up Gold. Yet much of this pleasurably surprising album stays at a less frenetic pitch. What’s hopeful is that, in comparison with the experimental recordings they’ve been tinkering with, here they’ve kept faith with their unkempt appetite for a relentless beat, and are a little more considerate of an average Ramones lover’s needs. What I miss is the sense of their cutting completely loose, flirting with barely controlled frenzy in obeisance only to a melody and their phenomenal drummer, Max Savage. They have yet to set the crossbar any higher than Master of My Craft but they’re getting close.

  1. No Comments