O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

Parquet Courts

12th best in Jason's Annual Review of records

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Jason Lewis, UK Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: December, 2018
Number 12 is Wide Awake by Parquet Courts
by Jason Lewis, UK Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: December, 2018
Number 12 is Wide Awake by Parquet Courts

12. Wide Awake!- Parquet Courts (Rough Trade Records)
It may have taken the best part of eight years for it to happen, but in 2018 Parquet Courts finally began to receivethe acclaim that they deserved. 

The band's sixth album  kicks off with the snappy, bass heavy, punk of 'Total Football'.  Andrew Savage's urgent, yelling vocals spits out his anguished tales. The closing chorus is a remarkable sing along before Savage delivers his final rant:

'Those who find discomfort in your goals of liberation will be issued no apology...
And fuck Tom Brady'

The album brims with angry observations of the current American climate.  'Violence' brings Doors-ish organs into the mix. Savage screams about police brutality ('it's hard to get used to getting used to violence'). It's a remarkably visceral Clash-like experience. 

The great surprises on 'Wide Awake' are the joyous funk of the title track (see the endearingly daft video that accompanies the song) and Austin Brown's ruminative 'Death Will Bring a Change'. The addition of a children's choir on the chorus just adds to its utter strangeness. 

Like all great punk-inspired albums Parquet Courts have created an album that says what it needs to without overstaying its welcome. It fits thirteen songs into a breathless 40 minutes, which is a perfect wake up call.

see more stories from outsideleft's Music archive »»

Jason Lewis
UK Music Editor

Jason Lewis is a Birmingham based music, movie and arts obsessive. Jason's encyclopedic knowledge of 80s/90s Arts films is a debt to his embedded status in the Triangle Arts Centre trenches back then.

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

It's Time For Beyonce to Have a Baby
It's not a mystery - its time for Beyonce to move over and give everyone else a chance, and maybe help some desperate parents along the way. It could be a good thing
One Night in the Life of Bryan
Bryan Corbett's Blue Note Quartet at the Silvershine Jazz Club
Owen Pallett: Sweet Nothings
The artist formerly known at Final Fantasy strips away more than a pseudonym to get at the sweet nothingness in us all.
This Hat is Actually Made From Magic
Lamont goes in search of the perfect hat and finds it, in Long Beach
Jason Lewis, The Year: Love and (even more) Death
Jason Lewis' Review of his Year in music continues with L-o-v-e... And even more Death
Trying to Say Something Negative About Brian Eno...
...leads one to saying nothing at all.
Some of our favorite things...