How do you follow up one of the best albums of the year? If you’re Parquet Courts, you come back 9 months later with a hugely innovative 5 song EP that is basically as good as their breakout album Light Up Gold. The Brooklyn via Denton band delivers much more than a collection of B-sides or throwaway tracks here, but rather 5 incredible songs that show all of the hats the band expertly wears.
Since there’s only five songs, let’s go track by track. The EP kicks off with “You’ve Got Me Wonderin Now”, a twisty anthem that kicks the disc off with its most catchy and direct track, much the same purpose that “Master of My Craft” served on Light Up Gold. The endlessly quotable Andrew Savage drops knowledge like “Yeah, I guess sunburns better than heartburn (barely). Guess I never figured that out” over wiry guitars that makes for one of the best songs they’ve ever done. They follow that up with “Descend (The Way)”, a slightly more punk jam with a bunch of shouting that’s pretty sweet, but probably the least memorable song here.
But just when you think, “eh this is just alright”, they bring out the big guns with “The More It Works”, a twisty jam that incorporates some more of those Television style guitars you love so much as Savage shouts along. The song really shows the band going forward with that extended repetitive jam that they did so well on “Stoned And Starving” on the last record, showing that they can do a lot more than just 2 minute long post-punk tracks. They can still do those well though, as they show off on “Fall On Yr Face”, where the abbreviated track length alongside blues-filled guitar riffs and shouted lyrics appropriately merit comparisons to The Minutemen. It’s a simple structure and a simple idea, yet Parquet Courts seem like geniuses for executing it so well.
Everything before this is great but familiar, so the band breaks the mold at the end with the nearly 8 minute long funk jam “He’s Seeing Paths”. The song is somewhere between drugged out LCD Soundsystem and a jazzy Beastie Boys track. The cowbell and bass really help the song settle into a groove as Savage basically starts laying down raps. Of course, the song evolves into jammy solo towards the end. It’s miles away from anything on Light Up Gold, and shows a great direction for the band to explore in the future.
Tally All The Things You Broke is much more than just a giveaway EP or a collection of bonus tracks, but rather a substantial collection of great tracks that shows the band didn’t peak or run out of good ideas on Light Up Gold. To get right down to it, this EP kicks ass, and you need to hear it. Also go back and listen to Light Up Gold if you haven’t yet. They got 2013 on lock.