26 Feb 2016

Parquet Courts - Berlin Got Blurry (single review)

Parquet Courts have just another new single from upcoming LP, Human Performance, and it's a blazing display of American rock and roll. It's a song that belongs in a Tarantino film, with it's juicy opening riff and commercial, poppy twang. This isn't your typical Parquet Courts song musically, it's teetering on being catchy- especially with the smatterings of synth underneath the bouncing reverby guitar.

However, it's the lyrics that remind you it's Parquet Courts, their punk attitude still ferocious under the guise of surf rock, it's still ramshackle and chaotic. Lines such as 'feels so effortless to be a stranger' and 'nothing lasts but nearly everything lingers in life' remind you that this is a punk band your listening too, and they're still fairly angry, even if they don't sound it. Savage has said this is a song about 'not knowing where you belong', which is so evident from his slightly bleak lyrics, contrasting to the bouncing sound of Berlin Got Blurry. Like, Dust, there is an overwhelming feeling of loneliness and isolation running through this song- could Human Performance be some kind of break up record? Is Andrew Savage breaking up with modern society? Or has someone/something broken his heart?

The theme of loneliness continues through into the video, which may I say, is beautifully shot on 16mm and directed by Claes Nordwal. It features Andrew Savage frolicking around Berlin spilling doner kebabs over himself and singing in his usual manner into a payphone about being lonely. It's a joy to watch, it feels as though you are there exploring the city. I really enjoy the cuts to Savage's guitar, especially that sweet solo about two minutes in. It's a music video that captures the feeling of being somewhere new, foreign and unknown. It feels like a goodbye too.

This track is like a split end, in one way it is so completely different from what I expect of this band, but in another it's painted with Parquet Courts' usual colour, and I think that's what makes it such an impressive single. It's jumbled, jagged and fresh, it's infectious and far removed from a lot of the band's back catalog. Unlike Dust this has made me eager to hear what's coming from Parquet Courts, because Berlin Got Blurry is really rather good. My mouth is watering, this is exactly what I wanted, without even knowing I wanted it. YES, LADS. YES.


human performance is out on april 8th via rough trade recs

(written by rach tindall)