NEW TRACK: Parkay Quarts – “Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth”
by Kate Leib on October 24, 2014
Posted in: Folk, Music, Punk, Rock
It’s not often that I’m compelled to use the word “beautiful” when describing the music released by the post-punk hooligans in Parquet Courts. Typically, the band embodies energy in raw form, chugging through proto-punk chords at a relentless pace and rarely letting up. But even punks like to sit down every once and a while, kick off their combat boots and unwind. And when a tightly wound band like Parquet Courts unwinds, it tends to be especially satisfying and, yes, even beautiful. On past tracks like “Squares States“, “N. Dakota“, “Dear Ramona“, and “Instant Disassembly“, Parquet Courts have hinted at their softer, more rambling side, though their distinct off-kilter guitars and moaning vocals are always a mainstay.
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Fresh off the release of June’s excellent Sunbathing Animal, a recent announcement that they would join the band PC Worship to form the super group PCPC, and a charity split 7″ with Future Punx in September, Parquet Courts unexpectedly dropped a new track last week under their alter-ego homophonic moniker, Parkay Quarts. Though PQ’s lineup–Andrew Savage, Austin Brown–is only 2/3s of PC, “Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth” is no one-off, side-project, money-grubbing b-side, it’s the lead single for PQ’s forthcoming LP Content Nausea, due out in November.
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From the bloodlands of Antietam to the janglng keys of Graceland, “Uncast Shadow” weaves a rambling tale rich in Southern history, folk roots, and rock revivalism. Lead singer Andrew Savage makes reference to shotgun shacks, crumbling buildings, and strange fruit rotting, conjuring images of decadence and destruction in a land of disparate wealth and social status, all to a subdued strum and beat. In the vein of Dylan, Van Zandt, Kristofferson and the folk singers who preceded them, Savage’s classic story of a coke-addled, drunken southern man killing a trespasser with a shot gun, and later blowing up his estate comes in the form of a longwinded ballad set in somewhat of a modern day context. Savage spins a dialogue within his myth that could’ve come straight out of Dylan’s “Ballad of a Thin Man“; “I stood there beside my companion, scratching a rumor he had heard / ‘Do you have a gun?’ ‘What?’ He said, ‘yeah, you mean this one?’ Straight down the barrel was his word.“ The song itself is smoother than anything Parquet Courts has released to date, at least, until, when you least expect it, the drawling outro suddenly picks up into a screeching climax over which a finally unhinged Savage repeatedly screams the track’s title. So kick off your combat boots for a sec, put on your imaginary ten gallon hat and take a listen if you haven’t already:
Content Nausea will be available digitally Nov. 11 and physically December 2, 2014 via What’s Your Rupture?.
Kate Leib is WRMC’s Creative Director. She hosts a show called Perfect From Then On Thursday nights from 8-10 and does not own a pair of combat boots.