Parquet Courts has been collaborating as a musical group since they got their start in Brooklyn in 2010. In 2012 they released their debut full-length album Light Up Gold and it made such a splash in the punk rock scene that their ripples can still be felt if you give their album a listen. With Andrew Savage singing, his brother Max on the drums, Austin Brown on the guitar, and Sean Yeaton ripping the bass apart, they form like Voltron to rock the ears of audiences worldwide.
Light Up Gold features a number of songs with guitar riffs and styles that resemble that of The Strokes in their early days, starting with their first song “Master of My Craft” Andrew utilizes a vocal style that is playful and strong, yet delivers his lyrics with a casual and carefree demeanor. “Borrowed Time” digs a bit deeper and not only has a nostalgic feel, but discusses memories of “the good old days.” This time Max Savage leaves his drumprints on the song in a tremendous way.
Next on the album are shorter songs like “Donuts Only,” “Careers in Combat” and “Yr No Stoner,” which feature a very different yet equally powerful vocal style than the previous songs on the album. Andrew proves his vocal versatility in these songs whether it be soft and chill or fast and harsh and he never looks back.
Some songs on the album have a more traditional punk charge than the others, like “Yonder Is Closer to the Heart” and “Disney P.T.” Even then, they manage to accomplish the familiar punk sound while adding their own unique sound effects to make these songs must hears.
In the album’s title tracks “Light Up Gold I” and “Light Up Gold II,” Parquet Courts put down two short but sweet songs. They exemplify just how fluid this band can be, not just in their individual talents but also collectively as a group. Meanwhile, songs like “N Dakota” and “Stoned and Starving” sound more like anthems than just songs. Soft, chill and melodic, meet fast-paced, hard and strong. In “Stoned and Starving” guitarist Brown gives us his greatest solo of the album, making this song his most masterful on the album.
“No Ideas” is quite possibly the album’s greatest song. It implores all of the band members’ talents and does so in a brand new sort of way. Honestly, every punk fan should do themselves a favor and listen to it. While “Caster of Worthless Spells” is easy listening, it’s the softer side of punk with an edge.
“Tears O Plenty” is a lyrically catchy tune that gives Yeaton his opportunity to shine as a bassist. Then the final song of the album is fittingly titled “Picture of Health.” Without a doubt, this is their most “professional” sounding song of Light Up Gold. This track is a whirlwind of punk music that is gratifying enough to leave any punk enthusiast full of newfound love and hope for the future. It’s a song that shows everything that this band is capable of, wrapped up into one musical entity.
Making sense out of this album is almost impossible, yet it must be done. Deep piercing bass lines, guitar riffs and solos that are striking and unique, and a drummer and lead vocalist combination that will go down in punk history, this band has some of the most fun and versatile jams that I’ve heard in a while. If there is anything worth doing today, it’s listening to Light Up Gold.