Parkay Quartz (Parquet Courts), gig review: New York punk rockers live up to the hype

Acute observations of everyday life and portraits of odd, struggling individuals are served up with wry humour

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The Independent Culture

Bare concrete and exposed pipework in an underground den is surely the best setting to hear New York punk-rock foursome Parkay Quartz (Parquet Courts until their latest LP, Content Nausea), who have caused a mild-mannered frenzy in Britain thanks to their DIY approach to music.

With a sound carved out of the streets of NY, acute observations of everyday life and portraits of odd, struggling individuals are served up with wry humour. Songs are dealt out one after another in quick procession: several actually blur into the one that came before.

Andrew Savage barks out the lyrics to ‘What Colour Is Blood’, spitting out syllables like broken teeth, while Justin Frye of PC Worship tears it up on the bass. Each track is frantic and rapid-fire, while the band’s lengthy improvisations get the crowd so riled up that they start moshing.

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Photo by Neelam Khan Vela

Watching Parkay Quartz is thrilling because their work is not a random experimentation with sound – they show signs of masterful lyricism, with plenty of flair when it comes to their live performance.

There’s no encore – they’re too cool to bow to the crowd’s whims. And the best thing? These guys say they don’t even care about being famous. They’re just really, really good.

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