12. Wide Awake!- Parquet Courts (Rough Trade Records)
It may have taken the best part of eight years for it to happen, but in 2018 Parquet Courts finally began to receivethe acclaim that they deserved.
The band's sixth album kicks off with the snappy, bass heavy, punk of 'Total Football'. Andrew Savage's urgent, yelling vocals spits out his anguished tales. The closing chorus is a remarkable sing along before Savage delivers his final rant:
'Those who find discomfort in your goals of liberation will be issued no apology...
And fuck Tom Brady'
The album brims with angry observations of the current American climate. 'Violence' brings Doors-ish organs into the mix. Savage screams about police brutality ('it's hard to get used to getting used to violence'). It's a remarkably visceral Clash-like experience.
The great surprises on 'Wide Awake' are the joyous funk of the title track (see the endearingly daft video that accompanies the song) and Austin Brown's ruminative 'Death Will Bring a Change'. The addition of a children's choir on the chorus just adds to its utter strangeness.
Like all great punk-inspired albums Parquet Courts have created an album that says what it needs to without overstaying its welcome. It fits thirteen songs into a breathless 40 minutes, which is a perfect wake up call.
Jason Lewis is a Birmingham based music, movie and arts obsessive. Jason's encyclopedic knowledge of 80s/90s Arts films is a debt to his embedded status in the Triangle Arts Centre trenches back then.