Album Review – Parquet Courts

Parquet Courts -‘Sunbathing Animal.’ (Rough Trade)

The follow-up to last year’s rather fine Light Up Gold (well, in the UK), the third album from Texans turned Brooklynites is an excellent exercise in leftfield guitar noise. Though they have been compared to many 90s alternative-rock acts, I would argue that Parquet Courts are actually the missing link between Television and Pavement. This is in the sense that there is the great guitar work of the former married with the great tunes about to descend into a wonderful shambles of the latter.

And it’s not just that – there’s an endearing rough edge to proceedings that also evokes the spirit and sound of 1970s acts like Swell Maps and Wire, suggesting that they might be their heirs (well, Wire are still going but you get the idea). ‘Bodies Made Of’ and ‘Vienna II’ being very much examples of this, although longer tracks like ‘She’s Rolling’ keep the ball, well, rolling for much longer.

Given that so much of what pretends to be indie these days is so far from the notion of what it should be about, there will be those who run screaming from this album. Their loss.For those who take the trouble to listen, this is a deeply rewarding and exciting record that shows a great record collection can still be the springboard for something fresh and exciting.


Sunbathing Animal is out now on Rough Trade

Stream Morrissey’s World Peace Is None Of Your Business

Well, it feels like it has been a long time coming. It’s certainly one of the most anticipated albums of 2014, and one of my most anticipated albums of the year.

Morrissey’s 10th album World Peace Is None Of Your Business is his first album in five years, since Years Of Refusal and it’s streaming a week ahead of its release, via NME. I’ll write a full review soon, but after my first listen, the reports that it may be one of his best solo works – even up there with Vauxhall & I – are not wrong.

See what you think, people. I’d love to know what you think, and if you like it – go and buy it!

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To stream the album in full head to

Album Review – David Gray

David Gray

David Gray -‘Mutineers’ (iht Records)

Like Coldplay, it’s perhaps a little too easy to stereotype David Gray. Music for people who don’t buy much music and what they do is from motorway service stations, people who are permanently glued to Radio 2, who’d rather go to V Festival than Glastonbury…the list could go on.

And it’s unfair on the man himself. Not only that, as a late thirty-something (there! I’ve said it!) I think it’s rather an ageist stereotype. I don’t buy my music from motorway service stations, mind you.

The only problem is…this album is as dull as anything. Now, I enjoyed a number of songs off White Ladder, itself now fifteen years old. It didn’t change the world, but there were some good, solid songs. It is of course missing the point entirely to grumble that Gray’s music is not radical or confrontational. However, Mutineers makes White Ladder sound like a groundbreaking record by comparison.

It’s not entirely without merit. There’s a lovely arrangement on ‘Last Summer’ and ‘Birds Of the High Arctic’ is a really good song. But the absolute nadir is reached on ‘Snow in Vegas’ with it’s drawn-out, cliched lyrics.

I genuinely wanted to like this album. I wanted to be able to hold it up as an act of defiance to say that Gray had produced a good record, and that it was just snobbery that stopped people from liking it. Unfortunately, rather like the latest Coldplay album, it’s just boring.


Mutineers is out now on iht Records

Presenting…Twin Peaks

Well, I’m assuming that they took their name from David Lynch’s weird and wonderful TV show from the early 1990s. American band Twin Peaks would be too young to remember it, though…

Twin Peaks are barely 20 years old. They are singer Cadien Lake James, guitarist Clay Frankel, bassist Jack Dolan and drummer Connor Brodner. ‘Flavor’ is the title track of the band’s first UK EP. It’s coming ut on National Anthem on 7th July, featuring ‘Flavor’ and three songs from their debut 2013 US LP Sunken.

‘Flavor’ is the first track to appear on their sophomore album Wild Onion, due out later this year in the UK. It’s very summery-sounding garage rock, and a video that might be considered NSFW, depending how cool (or not) your workplace is with people a) smoking dope (or at least pretending to) and b) how your workplace feel about you watching music videos when you should be working anyway…

You can stream the EP here: