Increasingly I can't be bothered downloading albums, knowing that they'll never be unearthed again after they eventually drop off my Foobar playlist. Rare too is the upcoming album which excites me upon announcement of a release date & the possibility of hearing it in advance so as to lay down my opinion of it here. Wide Awaaaaake!, however, did just that and it's a must as far as the downloading goes, such is the quality of the material it contains. Everything you expect from a Parquet Courts release is right here.
The band's last release with some Italian bloke barely registered with me but equally it didn't have me feeling that they'd lost the plot and embraced a whole new musical direction. They've experimented before and returned refreshed after all. With the release of 'Almost Had To Start A Fight/In And Out Of Patience' at the end of February they showed that they'd not dispensed with their core post-punk energy and aggression and that boded well for the forthcoming album.
Suffice to say then that, having had the stream/download for a month prior to the release date, Wide Awaaaaake! has been played to death. It's the kind of album wherein you think that, if the band had a grand plan when they started out then this contains the fruit of that plan's culmination. All the jerky, asinine, rampaging, cheeky, singalong, thoughtful and other elements of their output to date are perfectly captured in its thirteen tracks.
Coming into summer as we (hopefully) are now at time of publishing this is the sort of upbeat and infectious album you want to have on all the time and one which will easily last you past the season and on into months to come and probably until they make something even better next time around. Clearly a band at the top of their game.
Wide Awaaaaake! is available from Rough Trade.