The Men / Parquet Courts
The Relentless Garage, London
New York quartet Parquet Courts are creating quite a healthy little buzz for themselves at the moment and it’s not hard to see why. They were the ‘band everyone was talking about’ at SXSW this year and tonight they face a crammed to capacity Garage as they swagger out onstage to confront a London crowd eager to see what all the fuss is about. And they take it calmly in their stride. Parquet Courts are effortlessly cool, brooding with a Velvet Underground menace, a spiky Mark E Smith snarl and wailing Pavement-esque out of tune guitars, they are minimal, jagged and have some excellent songs hidden amongst the noise and snarl. You’re going to be hearing a lot from this band this year.
Whilst Parquet Courts are rigid and tight, The Men couldn’t be set further apart. The Men are lose, raw, wild, explosive and all over the fucking place. In short, The Men are utterly life-affirming and incredibly exciting to watch. Live, like their recorded output, they swerve wildly from and between abrasive noise punk, Neil Young country-tinged rock, wild psychedelia, melodic grunge and everything in between. The Men pay no heed to rules. This is music flowing freely for a multitude of influences. They’re like the 13th Floor Elevators meets Spacemen 3 meets The Wipers meets Mudhoney meets Neil Young meets Black Flag and it sounds so good it makes you want to hold your breath and detonate. The Men are utterly thrilling. Grab the first chance you get to see them live.