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Album review | INDIE

Parquet Courts, ‘Sunbathing Animal’

Where many bands attempt to broaden their sonic boundaries over time, on their third LP, Parquet Courts have further constricted theirs. Opener “Bodies Made Of” plays as a tightly-wound, shouted number for its first 1:30, then strips away the vocals for the next two minutes, riding out on an off-kilter guitar line and noisome wandering like a blues-punk band watching the clock. This Brooklyn, N.Y., band seems uninterested not only in its songs, but in the idea of music in general — which for many fans is probably the appeal. This is defiantly anti-pop in the mold of Jonathan Richman, to whom they’re often compared, particularly on “Dear Ramona,” the musical equivalent of getting pulled into the meandering vortex of a rock-scene townie telling a story you can’t break free from. The title track scarcely strays from one chord in its vaguely psych-surf-punk, but it isn’t sleepwalking. “Always Back in Town” comes closest to an honest-to-goodness hook. It’s the same hook throughout, but it’s listenable, even if much of this arch record is meant to be “listened” to. (Out Tuesday)

Essential “Always Back in Town”

Luke O’Neil can be reached at lukeoneil47@gmail.com.
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