Albums to watch

Human Performance

Parquet Courts

Human Performance

Fifth full-length album from the Brooklyn garage rock / post-punk band led by Austin Brown and Andrew Savage

ADM rating[?]


Rough Trade
UK Release date
US Release date
  1. 9.3 |   AU Review

    Parquet Courts have delivered yet another fantastic album that offers a smorgasbord of weird – any fan of punk will find at least one song they love here
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  2. 9.1 |   A.V. Club

    Feels less rigid (and abrasive) and more personal in how it deals with restlessness and dread
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  3. 9.0 |   music OMH

    This record can feel single-minded, but this is ultimately to its credit as life’s vaguer off-kilter moments emerge with clarity from the palette of modern paranoia the band work with
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  4. 9.0 |   Gig Soup

    With some of their most memorable tunes to date, the group finally deliver on almost two years worth of abstruseness
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  5. 9.0 |   No Ripcord

    Cut for cut, this is a triumph of melody and intelligence, with hooks that aren't cute and noise that doesn't dampen introspection, cosmic and prosaic at the same time
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  6. 9.0 |   The 405

    Parquet Courts' brand of taut, nervy guitar music is the perfect vehicle for these stories, and they expertly build and release tension in their guitar interplay
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  7. 8.4 |   Pitchfork

    A bracing snapshot of a band on a roll. Their music is not explicitly political, but Parquet Courts are definitely a thinking band, and a critical one
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  8. 8.3 |   Consequence Of Sound

    Their most realized, independent, and articulate album yet
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  9. 8.3 |   Earbuddy

    Parquet Courts have made a stunner of a record. It shakes, throbs, screams and shouts all over the place
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  10. 8.3 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    They’re average guys with above-average observational skills in the mad maze that is modern day New York City
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  11. 8.1 |   Paste Magazine

    For all their obvious musical ability, the band’s real skill here is blending so many unexpected elements into a coherent whole that is at once adventurous and accessible
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  12. 8.0 |   NME

    It’s easy to simply pore over Savage’s frantic wordplay – which peaks when evaluating kebab-wrapping techniques on ‘Berlin Got Blurry’ – but the music is equally brilliant
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  13. 8.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    As the band walk through the storm of life, it finally feels like they’ve accepted their place at the centre of the hurricane
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  14. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    If guitar music is condemned to skulk in the margins for the time being, it might as well do so sounding as spiky and agitated as this
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  15. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Parquet Courts always sound so nimble and spontaneous that there's no predicting where they might end up next
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  16. 8.0 |   Spin

    It’s not their most sensitive record or politically astute or least dissonant but all of these things — their most convincing performance as humans to date
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  17. 8.0 |   State

    Parquet Courts have excelled with Human Performance, there are so many highlights in the 46 minutes
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  18. 8.0 |   Under The Radar

    There are no radical departures from past albums, but this is the most crisply recorded and varied Parquet Courts record yet
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  19. 8.0 |   All Music

    Shows that the band is just as vital and alive when it dials the intensity (way) down, cleans up some of the messy parts, and generally grows up in all the right ways
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  20. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    Sceptics might see Human Performance's well-rounded, poppier sensibilities as the band softening themselves — on the contrary, they're just coming into their own
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  21. 8.0 |   Crack

    A richer, broader sonic palette and – on occasion – deeper lyrical subject matter. It’ll be interesting to see how things unfold from here
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  22. 8.0 |   DIY

    A tightrope walk between impulse and laser-point precision
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  23. 8.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    By stepping back, Parquet Courts have taken a leap forward
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  24. 8.0 |   The Music

    Intelligent introspection of deceptive depth and considerable charm
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  25. 8.0 |   Slant Magazine

    Represents a significant step forward in terms of the band's emotional range and melodic richness
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  26. 8.0 |   The Skinny

    Human Performance might have sacrificed the band's rickety immediacy, but they compensate with wise, grass-stalk chewing authority and grubby, plentiful hooks
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  27. 8.0 |   Q

    NYC alt-rockers’ great leap forward. Print edition only

  28. 7.5 |   Beardfood

    Parquet Courts achieve more in a throwaway line than most, and in the pursuit of wisdom you’d be unwise to turn a blind eye to their unique method of unpacking the world
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  29. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    Incredibly broad in its sonic palette and focused in its approach
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  30. 7.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    A new kind of Parquet Courts album
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  31. 7.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    It’s weird. It’s fun
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  32. 6.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    What the other releases do so well is that they either hit the spot hard or deliberately miss for effect, but this time round the result seems to be somewhere in between
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  33. 6.0 |   Mojo

    An album that couldn’t be much more Rough Trade if it tried, Which, incidentally, is a largely a complement. Print edition only

  34. 6.0 |   Uncut

    There are some great, clanging pop songs here. Print edition only

  35. 6.0 |   The FT

    It doesn’t quite reach the heights of their earlier albums, Light Up Gold and Sunbathing Animals, but it has a cleverness and feel for style that few other bands can match
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  36. 6.0 |   The Observer

    There are enough highs to make this worthy of a listen
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Parquet Courts: Human Performance

  • Download full album for just £8.49
  • 1. Already Dead (Digital Only) £0.89
  • 2. Dust £0.89
  • 3. Human Performance £0.89
  • 4. Outside £0.89
  • 5. I Was Just Here £0.89
  • 6. Paraphrased £0.89
  • 7. Captive of the Sun £0.89
  • 8. Steady On My Mind £0.89
  • 9. One Man No City £0.89
  • 10. Berlin Got Blurry £0.89
  • 11. Keep It Even £0.89
  • 12. Two Dead Cops £0.89
  • 13. Pathos Prairie £0.89
  • 14. It's Gonna Happen £0.89
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