Content Nausea by Parquet Courts | Music Review

Overwhelmed. Overexerted. Stoned, and still starving. Parquet Courts are back, and boy, are they pissed as ever. The New York City punk-rockers recently released their latest record, dubbed Content Nausea. They've additionally taken the moniker "Parkay Quarts" to release it under, more or less to represent a departure from their previous sound.

"Content Nausea" by Parquet Courts/Parkay Quarts album artwork
Recorded onto 4-track tape, the revived recording method complements the nerve-wracking intensity present on the album quite fittingly. It opens with “Everyday It Starts”, a frenetic track that teeter-totters its way through the nailbiting anxiety of morning routine. Then, not even at the three-minute mark, things take a turn for chaos as the dizzying title track takes us out on a ride. “Content Nausea” is an accusatory finger pointing out the chip on the shoulder of society as a whole, yelping and grinding its way through an extensive checklist of frustrations, all packed into a scathing three minutes. Lead singer Andrew Savage(the co-frontman, who shares the honors with bandmate Austin Brown) goes on a prolonged rant about money, greed, technology, drug abuse – the things that make him nauseous – to the degree where the listener themselves might feel like they could be sick. Savage’s brash digs about the faults in the present generation is already a topic that is much griped about – especially by the people who created it. Sometimes it is questionable if his commentary is constructive or if he’s only adding fuel to the fire, but really, who's left to stop him when he gets rolling? His spitting catharsis is contagious, for better or worse. The sleek, synth-tinged “Urban Ease” allows for a brief minute of rest before transitioning into “Slide Machine”, a cover of a 13th Floor Elevators original that renews the 60s psych-rock tune with a laid-back spirit. Other tracks, such as “Pretty Machines" and “Psycho Structures”, run smoothly with their classic garage rock vibe and somewhat subdued nature in comparison to the some of Content Nausea’s wilder moments. Brief interludes are scattered throughout (“Urban Ease”, “Kevlar Walls”, “No Concept”) that draw attention to the different sonic sceneries explored on the record while still keeping its structure somewhat congealed. “Uncast Shadow Of A Southern Myth”, the twelfth and final track, is a re-envisioned version of a song originally recorded by Savage’s old band, Teenage Cool Kids. A heartfelt, downtempo ballad reminiscent of a classic riding-off-into-the-sunset happy ending, it makes for a nostalgic, forlorn yet magnificent close.
   Parquet Courts made a notable departure from their past sounds while still managing to keep their signature punk edge. While it isn’t the most revolutionary change in style, Content Nausea is still an album worthy of anybody’s time. No matter if you found it a hot mess or an masterpiece of innovative proportions, there’s no dispute that Content Nausea a whirlwind of a record filled with mouth-offs, nose-dives, and melodic moments of pleasure that are sure to make the listeners’ experience a memorable one. "I am a landmine," Savage proclaims. We won't argue.

Photos found here.

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