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"They were playing the Parquet Courts record and I thought it was Pavement," Stephen Malkmus is quoted as saying, in regard to Light Up Gold, the fragmented second record that catapulted the ramshackle scrum of Brooklyn boys from the murky depths of underground acclaim into bewildering mainstream success. Complimentary or otherwise, he simply summarised what we were all thinking: they do possess that trademark slacker drawl and the agitated, scrappy guitars that Malkmus defined almost singlehandedly, except, even if they can be accused of tastefully imitating, Parquet Courts don't give a shit about hiding it.

For all their languorous pouting, they are certainly not a band to rest on their laurels. An EP of fresh material crackled into life last year, seemingly released to soften the delay between Light Up Gold and now, the inevitable snarl of Sunbathing Animal.

While the disjointed riffs, Andrew Savage's glorious stoner lilt and offbeat lyrical tales remain shabbily intact, their latest LP boasts a change of pace, 'Ducking & Dodging' and 'Vienna II' the rare eruptions of Light Up Gold's breakneck headiness, the rest benefitting from a far more intricate structure than we have previously heard.

'Bodies Made Of', sporting a bizarre choral refrain of "sluts and guts" that feels destined to be chanted from the pit at future shows, feels brazenly whimsical, yet injects the record with a welcome saunter, reminding you that, of course, Parquet Courts are at their most essential when adopting a nonchalant swagger, a well-worn formula repeated on the likes of 'What Colour Is Blood' and the foreboding 'Raw Milk'. Only the title track froths with the venom that spat from American Specialties, their debut record, a vicious boot to the shins that reaffirms the band's lust for callous punk anthems.

It is useless to argue that Sunbathing Animal, much like its predecessor, is fiercely innovative. Instead, it is blissfully upfront and honest about the touchstones that it pays tribute to and, despite its apparent lack of originality, bubbles with the exhilarating, flailing spirit that can simply not be taught. As 'Into The Garden' shudders to a halt, this LP's title suddenly makes sense; much like a beast seeking the comforting solace of the sun's rays, Parquet Courts succeed at remaining magnificent, without really exerting themselves.

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