Even heard through the inflated expectations wrought by 2013 jolt Light Up Gold, Parquet Courts' sophomore follow-up rates an unqualified success. Building on its penchant for whimsical wordplay, the NYC art-punk quartet taps the fresh-cut immediacy of Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell to richen their urban narrative on Sunbathing Animal. "Black and White" summons the post-punk faithful with a rooftop spiel of self-excoriation, caffeinated hand-claps, and a televisual guitar crackup, while "Dear Ramona" glides on tongue-in-cheek tenderness until the composite turns acerbic with a backhand endorsement of Moleskine notebooks. From skittish garage-blues ("Duckin and Dodgin") to pale blue-eyed elongations ("Instant Disassembly"), it all hits like a blast of warm subway air on a cold day. (Thu., May 29, Red 7)
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