Lyrical masters Parquet Courts have just released their fifth studio album “Human Performance.” The band didn’t disappoint.
Parquet Courts fills a sort of indie rock micro-genre that fuses reflective, conscientious lyrics with Americana motifs and punk rock elements. Just as their previous releases, “Human Performance” is an overall impressive album.
The album strays from Parquet Courts’ more political lyrics of the past, shifting its focus to emotion and individual experience. The ambiguity of the lyrics in “Human Performance” gives the album depth.
Parquet Courts could be viewed as a sort of band of punk poets.
To focus solely on the lyrical aspects of the album would be a shame, however. The band has a knack for creating catchy riffs and layering multiple instruments masterfully. “Human Performance” also includes a good deal of unique sample overlays, including car horns and bird noises.
The first song on “Human Performance,” “Already Dead,” is one of my favorite songs released in 2016. The song features a narrated instrumental break that enters in the middle, framed by angsty vocals.
“Outside” features reverb laden-guitars and a more traditional Parquet Courts sound and is one of many great songs on “Human Performance.”
In a way, “Human Performance” is overwhelming. It is a large album with fourteen tracks, most of which are of decent length. The depth and experimental nature of each song make “Human Performance” pretty awful background noise and party music.
This is not to call the album boring. “Human Performance” is best enjoyed when it can absorb your full attention. Because of this, “Human Performance” makes an excellent soundtrack for chilling out and clearing your mind.
Hopefully, “Human Performance” will give Parquet Courts a bit more rightfully earned recognition.