Guitars burn auditory rubber, and drums push the speedometer into the red on “Sunbathing Animal”, the title-track from blustering Brooklyn punks Parquet Courts’ upcoming second album.
The more speed “Sunbathing Animal” gains, however, the more you notice the severe mismatch between the music and the song’s video. The stationary, continuous black and white shot depicts nothing less than an animal at leisure. A housecat paces back and forth, sniffs and scratches a couch seat, tight-walks along a window sill, sits, and stares. A housecat being a housecat. As the musical frenzy peaks, the cat rolls onto its back and stretches out its paws – a “sunbathing animal” absolute. In the closing seconds, singer/guitarist Andrew Savage jumps into view in a mirror, rocking out, singing into a brush. (Given the position of the mirror, you can’t tell it’s actually a mirror, making Savage’s entrance quite surprising, especially so far into the mundanity.) Savage disappears, and the cat leaps off of the couch, out of view, a second later.
Much of the lyrical languor and aimlessness that coloured Parquet Courts’ debut album, Light Up Gold, has spilled into “Sunbathing Animal”, manifested in the video’s feline star. While Parquet Courts delivered such dejection with particular urgency on Light Up Gold, the band is even more manic here. By the song’s end, you may find yourself depleted, transmogrified into a lazy, sunbathing animal yourself. But pick yourself up; there’s still a whole album to look forward to, and a show with Olympia’s Naomi Punk and Vancouver’s Tough Age at the Biltmore on May 24.