Parquet Courts, Sunbathing Animal
(Mom + Pop) ****
If it’s not a direct rip, then the riff that opens Sunbathing Animal come as close to copping the landmark intro from Television’s “Marquee Moon” as is legally possible. It’s a deliberate move, with the imprint of Television’s classic 1977 debut felt all over the Brooklyn-via-Texas quartet’s excellent new LP.
Not that the band has thrown out their Pavement records, or any of the loose-knit rock staples that defined 2012’s casually brilliant Light Up Gold. They’ve simply merged it with Television’s carefully constructed proto-punk, resulting in the likes of the frantically propulsive “Black and White” and the delicately winding “Instant Disassembly.” Co-singer/guitarists Andrew Savage and Austin Brown are also continuing to write at a level that would make Tom Verlaine and crew proud, proving definitively that despite their faux-underachiever style, they possess some serious songwriting chops (see: “Dear Ramona”).
At the backbone of it all is PC’s unwavering rhythm section of bassist Sean Yeaton and drummer Max Savage, whose anchoring pulse allows brother Andrew and Brown to wander at will. Animal never catches the brilliance of their still-classic “Stoned and Starving,” but befitting its more considered approach, there’s a consistency and potency here that proves every bit Light Up Gold’s equal.