Why was a band that sings about walking through Ridgewood, Queens flipping through magazines while stoned and starving the focus of so much hype during SXSW this year?

It could be that Parquet Courts have managed to make classic punk music that actually feels like it’s supposed to mean something.

Light Up Gold is the New York-by-way-of-Texas band’s first major release after putting out a barely-noticed LP on tape mid-last year.

You can’t help but hear the back-alleys of Manhattan in Parquet Courts sound with the record transmitting the energy of The Black Lips, the guitar riffs of Eddy Current, the fun of The Strokes, and throwbacks to Clash-like choruses.

Nearly half the tracks on Light Up Gold come in at under two minutes. Short and sharp but well crafted, each element plays its role. The guitar riffs are catchy and the way vocalists Andrew Savage and Austin Brown trade lyrics back and forth adds an extra dynamic to the songs. Max Savage’s drums hold all elements of the music together, tightly driving and controlling the rolling chaos.

The lyrics on Light Up Gold are as clever as they are dumb. There is something stupidly brilliant in what Parquet Courts have to say.

As Savage states in the albums liner notes, “This record is for the over-socialised victims of the 1990s”. Their lyrics refer to aimless days spent stoned, people being forced into combat, donuts, and North Dakota.

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Light Up Gold is an album that becomes more infectious with each listen and deserves to be heard.

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