Wide Awake! the latest album by Texas born, now New York residing band, Parquet Courts is without question one of the finest records of 2018 thus far. Andrew Savage and company have crafted a sound so eerily familiar yet so brazenly original, it leaves the listener longing for more but not the same, and delivers. Without a doubt, A. Savage has done his homework, curating and absorbing the beats and bars of all the primary food groups, digesting them, then tooling a brand of his own. Wide Awake! is alive, bristling with the energy of the Clash and Fugazi while channelling the lush, white noise of The Velvet Underground, Bongload-era Beck and Sonic Youth. On "Freebird 2", Savage sings unabashedly about the triumph over addiction, the warnings of relapse and atonement of there of with eloquence.
Brian Burton aka Dangermouse easily navigates himself as producer, fashioning atmospheric hollow bodied bass lines coupled with sharp, angular beats, sassy 60s synths and hazy analog production. Savage and Burton are both musical chameleons that choose precisely the right time to escalate the orchestration of "Wide Awake", the title track which could be ballparked as a cut you've never heard of from The Talking Heads, "Stop Making Sense" to slow play they're hand into the whimsically untuned, mellow cool of "Mardi Gras Beads" which Stephen Malkmus probably wished he'd written for "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain". The band continues to build on the sound of their latter, " Human Performance" which in it's own right is very fine, while still keeping the pedal to the floor in search of reinventing the wheel by means of retooled new wave and post punk sensibilities, innovation and sheer cleverness. An outstanding effort that begs for multiple listens and exposes the fact that "post punk" isn't dead...it never really died.
**Disclaimer** review is based on AutoRip listening. Amazon lost this vinyl via mail, but made good on it.