What is “Punk Rock” in 2014? It’s all circumstantial, and somewhere there’s a guy listening to Pissed Jeans who thinks this is corporate and bullshit. For me though, it’s always been an attitude and an aesthetic. These are five records that exemplify that for me this year. They all deserve your ear for different reasons.
5. The Menzingers – Rented World
The Menzingers crafted a classic in 2012 with “On The Impossible Past“. This is not that. However, there is enough raw energy and passion on “Rented World” to remind me what makes them so special. Thoughtful, aggressive, clever, and shoutable.
4. Together Pangea – Badillac
“Badillac” is a complete album, that at its best sounds like 60’s pop that got corrupted in a L.A. garage
3. PUP – PUP
PUP is young, energetic, and ready to kick you in the face…but with melody. Squint through the sheer power of PUP to hear the impressive guitar work.
2. Joyce Manor – Never Hungover Again
At just 19 minutes, Joyce Manor‘s latest offering is sincere and open. It’s the record that your sister’s favorite pop punk band might grow up to make. It’s the band at it’s most polished, but they don’t ever lose the charm of a sweaty DIY show in a basement bar. I can’t stop listening to it.
1. Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal
I’m still bursting with compliments for “Sunbathing Animal“. It’s just such a smart record…and weird at times, in the most impressive ways. While most of the others on the list are mostly one note, Parquet Courts sound dips into so many different directions. All feels effortless. I think Lou Reed would approve. Look no further then the song “Sunbathing Animal” to realize we are dealing with something bigger than the typical shout-a-long.
One creature I return to, one habit I neglect
I cannot slow the pace at which I yearn
Frank and unabashed I become a frozen servant
Smiling asking nothing in return
Fang-tooth woman foaming at the mouth as she addressed me
Not with moving lips, but with the rabid wild arresting
Words not yet intended to identify emotion
Scrawling bold and oblique in my head
I’ve hung out at your service jobs
I’ve watched you, waited and be ignored
Bled into the clatter, as they sipped at what you poured
I cling to your perimeter as you float in their margins
Oblivious to being stung, there satellite becomes my son
I’ve flown into that trap before
When things have gotten dark
In the depths of strangers glances lies the most ferocious spark
Parquet Courts is something special. It’s a moment. It’s what is cool about rock music. Go write about it in your Moleskine.