Updated: Monday, 19th August 2019 @ 10:17am

Review: Parquet Courts @ Academy 2, Manchester

Review: Parquet Courts @ Academy 2, Manchester

| By Josh Steele

“It comes through the window, it comes through the floor, it comes through the roof and, it comes through the door...”

You can feel the tension building in Acadmey 2 as the first monotone verse of Parquet Courts’ 2016 single Dust is drawled out in tandem by frontmen Andrew Savage and Austin Brown.

The already sweat-drenched crowd have barely recovered from the high energy, heavy hitting set opener Ducking and Dodging, but they are clearly itching for more frenetic action.

But Parquet Courts are not simply the aggressive riff-based beast they perhaps once were.

The Brooklyn quartet, completed by bassist Sean Yeaton and Max Savage on drums, have been producing music at a staggering rate and arrived in town touring their fifth album, Human Performance.

The latest record, released in April this year, features a far greater array of introspective and varied material compared to their previous cuts, which tended to rely on direct, guitar-driven melodies.

As a result their live performances are now more inclined towards prolonged periods of instrumental experimentation which move the gig into mellower territory.

The ambling, almost aimless Steady on My Mind is a perfect example of this, with the band riffing off each other mid-song, leaving the audience behind as they lose themselves in their instruments, before deciding to bring the track to a belated conclusion.

While at times the crowd appears to be thrown by the musical diversions, (“You guys aren’t supposed to stage dive during the ballads,” Brown reminds us) the band manages to achieve moments of real clarity and seriously interesting noise rock.

No more so than in set closer One Man No City, as the notes from Savage and Brown’s Fenders become intermingled with the feedback from the sound system to create a beautiful sonic congress that is offset by the younger Savage’s rock steady, cowbell infused, drum beat.

That’s not to say that the Courts fail to get the crowd going at any point, rewarding their audience's patience with high energy, rip-roaring hits from sophomore album Light Up Gold.

Master of My Craft and Borrowed Time are rattled off in rapid succession, sending the Academy into frenzy, as pints are thrown and t-shirts are ripped.

Berlin Got Blurry, meanwhile, makes a more accessible offering from Human Performance, and is greeted with unbridled enthusiasm. How can you not fall for that Hank Marvin inspired twangy riff?

Parquet Courts are evidently at an evolutionary stage in their career, and while at times the experimentation isolated the audience there is plenty to like about their current incarnation.

Fans will always yearn for the bratty energy of Light Up Gold and Sunbathing Animal, but it is exciting to see the Brooklyn scene leaders probing new territory and finding an increasingly unique sound.