No one can make an instant classic. Nothing is immediately legendary. People may try to get you to believe that something in the now is going to be around forever and ever, even though you and the person trying to persuade you otherwise both know how quickly our culture scans over every piece of content that arises for consumption and evaluation. Only time, and the reception to that content over time – years, really, not the weeks or months they'd like you to believe it might take – will allow for that work to enter the canon of the classic, of the legend.
Because of this, it is only fair to judge Parquet Courts in the now. Yet they stand at the foot of the canon, the light of recognition ready to shine on them. Their debut album Light Up Gold shot them within range, an early and lasting success of the current year, finding favor in just about every blog, radio station playlist, and periodical that matters, from Pitchfork to NPR to the New York Times and all points in between. Their new five-song EP, "Tally All The Things That You Broke," noses them even closer. Restless, wound up, and nerve-jangling, their music is proof that the indie rock of 2013 – the one everyone seems to want – is the same one that aligned outcasts and viewpoints way back in the '80s and '90s. And, as with any band worth carrying the mantle of an entire genre of music, they find ways to expand their sound in their own voice. But it's that particular voice, born in Texas and broken in New York City, that makes them who they are, and what they mean to you.
"Tally" is far more than a stopgap in between full-lengths; it's the sound of Parquet Courts stretching out. Opener "You've Got Me Wonderin' Now," with its melodic drive and persistent Flutophone running alongside the melody, balances the manic tendencies of "Descend (The Way)," which would have fit on Light Up Gold, and extended rager "The More It Works," which would fit in a live set between Tyvek and Eddy Current Suppression Ring. "Fall On Yr Face" presents a classic desert trawler, lopsided and tuneful, the sound of the end of a long day. But the day is just beginning for the protagonist of "He's Seein' Paths," junkyard drum loops and doorbell samples framing Andrew Savage's eight-minute stream-of-consciousness rap about the trials and tribulations of a marijuana delivery service representative, zipping around the city on his bike. Simultaneously the link between Parquet Courts and Ween, or Parquet Courts and Beck, it frames the band coming from a new place, and is a post-millenial NYC anthem, quintessential sounds for anyone who's ever waited in anticipation of dialing that number, or anyone who's put on their game face and rode from point A to point B in the snarl of vicious traffic.
Parquet Courts remain Austin Brown, A. Savage, Sean Yeaton and M. Savage. They sound like all the bands you think they sound like. They've toured everywhere this year and will continue to do so.