Touted as an “in-between-albums-album”, Content Nausea is the work of Andrew Savage and Austin Brown of Parquet Courts. Parkay Quarts isn’t a side-project to extol some demons that wouldn’t fly in the band, but more of a passing of the time for two members. There has been no dramatic falling out; one of the absent members is completing a maths degree whilst the other absentee is starting a family.
It’s still an impressive album however, “Everyday it starts” is 90% wild guitar solo in the middle minutes of the song with the other 10% being the deadpan vocals that open and close it. The title track chugs with wild-west guitars before breaking into a spoken word piece with a noodling guitar in the background and a repetitive 2 chord pattern keeping time. There’s even a surprising saxophone in the tuneful “Pretty Machines”.
Content Nausea is another example of the controlled dissonance that Parquet Courts have made their name from. Whilst not wildly different from the band’s last release Sunbathing Animal it’s still an enjoyable listen. It’s the sound of New York punk and Texas country all wrapped up into one cohesive whole. Nowhere is this more apparent than on “Uncast Shadows”, the album closer, which is described by the band as “two men tragically colliding in the Deep South”. The ballad is a slower than the band’s usual output, and rings with melancholic guitar riffs over Savage’s morose grumbling. If the country influence wasn’t obvious already, the “These Boots Were Made For Walking” cover (stop cringing, it’s actually good) makes it plain to see.
If Content Nausea is what half the band produces in two weeks on a basic four track recorder, the outlook for the next proper album is very bright indeed.