Parquet Courts – Monastic Living EP
Parquet Courts have been busy on the road, and they want you to know. Monastic Living is a surprisingly chaste title for a compilation of thoughts from a touring rock band, but in their quasi-religious vow of silence (the record's 99% instrumental) the New York four-piece explore some pretty revealing territory. In just over half an hour, the band turn their characteristically spiked stoner rock into wonky walls of noise, experimenting with abrupt scene changes and weird new backdrops.
The record is impulsive, flickering, ideas caught in pencil lines on scrunched pages. Some sketches are hard to penetrate, intentionally obtuse. Other tracks, like the swaggering snippet Poverty and Obedience, feel a bit like reading the first page of a brand new novel – only to have it wrested from your hands. The dusty, bass-heavy slow jam Prison Conversion is fully fleshed, one of the few tracks permitted the space to fully expand... and it makes you wonder; what's the deal? Is Monastic Living just a postcard from the van, or an outline of the shape of things to come?