"ANYTHING THAT does not come from tradition is plagiarism," declared Catalan surrealist Salvador Dalí. It is a wilfully contradictory, deliberately oxymoronic, statement, but it describes perfectly New York indie-rockers Parquet Courts.
In essence, Dalí's statement means that, no matter how original something is, it did not spring from nowhere, it always has a precendent, and Parquet Courts - Andrew Savage, Austin Brown, Sean Yeaton, and Max Savage - who play the Róisín Dubh on Wednesday September 2 at 9pm, have never been shy about their determination to claim a place in NYC's formidable rock lineage.
As Pitchfork said: "Parquet Courts resemble a band that carries qualities that people have associated with New York bands of years past - structural slackness paired with paranoid energy, topped off with a sense of wit that exudes book-smarts as much as it smacks of smart-assedness."
It comes as no surprise then that the Kings of New York, The Velvet Underground, are a profound influence on the Brooklyn quartet. Yet Parquet Courts are not just in thrall to New York, they also adore a California band who sit high atop indie-rock royalty - Pavement.
One note from the opening riff of ‘Dear Ramona’ - from Parquet Courts' impressive most recent album Sunbathing Animal, and one word from vocalist Andrew Savage, and it all screams Steven Malkmus, while both The Velvet Underground and Pavement can be heard in ‘Raw Milk’ and the epic ‘Instant Disassembly’.
Parquet Courts are among a generation of bands for whom the 1990s are a rich source of influence. They are also death-before-dishonour indie, making no concession to mainstream tastes with their raucous, energetic, and rowdy garage rock, and cryptic, clever, lyrics. As Andrew Savage told Pitchfork: “We’re an anti-reverb band" - and all the better for it as evidenced by the thumping punk meets sixties r’n’b of ‘Black & White’ and the frantic, mile-a-minute, rhythms 'Sunbathing Animal'.
Parquet Courts' music - which contains punk, garage, r'n'b, indie, post-punk, and psychedelia, within a cohesive, overall sound - shows they are not constricted by their influences, but embrace all facts of alternative music on their own terms.
Tickets are available at www.roisindubh.net, the Ticket Desk at OMG Zhivago, Shop Street, and The Róisín Dubh.