Rough Trade – May 18th
Produced by pop mogul Danger Mouse, Wide Awake! is Parquet Courts both as you’ve heard them before, and as you haven’t. Initial release ‘Almost Had To Start A Fight/In and Out of Patience’ might have led fans into thinking the band would be delivering another dose of demurring art-punk, but the following title track saw the Texan four-piece toying with chant-laden funk grooves, aiming at something like an explicitly political ‘We Want The Funk’. It is the latter track that the album as a whole leans towards. Wide Awake! is Parquet at their most playful, but still teems with serious fury. Tracks such as ‘Violence’ splice funk with political rage, placing the band in the vein of 80s hardcore experimentalists Minutemen, and elsewhere on the Austin Brown-led ‘Mardi Gras’, the band try out 60s style harmonies before plunging into a galloping refrain, that is sure to put ripples in ciders at festivals this summer. On signature-style album opener ‘Total Football’ Savage sings ‘and I bet that you thought you had us figured out from the start’, Wide Awake! will shake fans into realising how wrong they were.