It’s been interesting to watch the rise of New York City’s Parquet Courts (and all of their various guises, of which this “Parkay Quarts” is one). I knew they were on to something when my fortysomething cousin called me from Colorado and asked, “Do you know this band with this song where they mention your neighborhood? I really like it.” He’d heard Stoned and Starving (from their breakthrough 2013 album Light Up Gold) on satellite radio, and the song immediately clicked, as it had for thousands of previous listeners.
Parquet Courts have emerged as the standard-bearers for Brooklyn indie rock, but don’t fault them for their unfortunate timing. As Brooklyn reduces itself to a parody and multiple multinationals trip over themselves in a frenzy to capitalize on this latest brand, there are several car service fleets-worth of self-deluded artists to ship out on a garbage barge first. The Courts are smart and never pretend otherwise. Unlike the Strokes, you will not find a drop of faux-rock ‘n’ roll swagger in Parquet Courts’ walk. Similarly, they make an indie limelight like Vampire Weekend look clumsy and lazy. Following this year’s acclaimed Sunbathing Animal, Content Nausea is their second full-length of the year, even as a collaborative album with sludgy Brooklyn collective PC Worship waits in the wings. Brittle, spare yet maximalist in sound, Content Nausea is mostly successful, with a few key missteps. The title track is a surge of forward motion as singer/guitarist Andrew Savage catalogs the myriad ways this modern world brings him down. A refusal to consent in the form of a breathless rant, Content Nausea furthers the band’s oblique take on the Minutemen. A cover of 13th Floor Elevators’ Slide Machine aims for bleary-eyed, but here the Courts’ lack of accumulated years shows through. Their angles are still too sharp to fit comfortably into these well-worn threads. Pretty Machines, on the other hand, plays to their strengths—arch, nervous pop that slyly references Brian Eno’s early ’70s rock era. Psycho Structures and The Map find PC’s core duo of Savage and Austin Brown delving into home-recorded synth-damage. Unfortunately, after these triumphs, comes an ill-advised cover of These Boots Are Made For Walking. Oft-covered, seldom well, it’s the kind of standard of which the world does not need more versions. Strictly free download promo material, lads. As if to quickly scrub off that bad idea, the Courts blast through Insufferable, another of their Tyvek-indebted smartbombs. Uncast Shadow Of A Southern Myth, a six-plus minute story of a song, is an ambitious conclusion that once again proves Parquet Courts—or whatever their moniker mood—can handle their own high expectations.  
[What's Your Rupture?]