In Parquet Courts’ classic style, post-punk group mixes garage-rock energy with a snotty edge on its new album, Human Performance. Unlike breakout album Sunbathing Animal, the Brooklyn quartet takes a darker and more twisted turn on this fifth studio album.
Parquet Courts channel the best traits of late-’70s punk and post-punk from bands like The Clash, Television and The Gun Club. However, the album also heightens their Western sensibilities — especially on “Berlin Got Blurry,” where spaghetti Western influence shines through brightly with compositions akin to Ennio Morricone.
Although the album is fun to listen to with hooks that are catchy as all hell, Human Performance doesn’t stand out like previous records.
Brooklyn darling Greta Kline, also known as Frankie Cosmos, has added a new album in her large collection of recordings. Following an EP from last year, the full-length Next Thing is 18 tracks — but barley stretches to 28 minutes.
Each track is a short, sweet nugget of indie- and twee-pop goodness. Much like ’90s twee acts Beat Happening and The Pastels, Next Thing is emotional but also executed with an apathetic attitude, resulting a timeless low-key swagger. If the instrumentals were not endearing enough, Kline lyrically touches upon subjects like dogs and kissing, making this possibly the cutest release of the year. Unlike her bedroom demos, this studio album sounds clearer and more refined without losing the DIY appeal of her roots.
Next Thing is some of the best songs from Frankie Cosmos. The strength of every song and the overall cohesiveness makes this one of the standout albums of the year and the Frankie Cosmos album we have all been waiting for.
Recently reissued by Numero group, Radio 1190 is now spinning Empire by Unwound — a compilation of Challenge For A Civilized Society and Leaves Turn Inside You. The Washington-based post-hardcore trio has only released a handful of albums, but the style of emotional rock music transcended the genre, even back in the ’90s.
Unlike Fugazi or Slint, Unwound balanced the loud and quiet and the light and dark with masterful ease. The simple guitar, bass and drums combo is minimal, yet the complex and unique song structures make the trio sound bigger than the sum of their parts. What’s so profound about Unwound is that they channel punk energy, art-rock concepts, ambient textures, hardcore punk ethos and math-rock complexity all in a way that sounds natural, unforced and organic. Though I could ramble on and on about Unwound, I instead recommend listening to any one of their albums to become acquainted with this amazing band.
Calvet is Radio 1190’s music director. Read more reviews: coloradodaily.com/columnists.