London-based openers Primetime are the archetypal, post-punk revival band. Their songs are inoffensive, repetitive and mediocre at best. The lead singer’s floor tom serves no purpose as she bangs the exact beats as the drummer and their predictable ‘angst’ appears hollow and superficial, as a mere accessory to their post-punk branding. They only truly peak during the catchy hook from ‘Tied Down’ but even then, the lousy guitar solo and antiseptic drumming restrains it from being a hit single and instead, relegates it to a bedroom experimentation made by hobbyists.
PC Worship on the other hand… wow.
The New York four-piece label themselves via Bandcamp tags as alternative, grunge, folk, and psychedelic rock but none of that prepares you for the jarring dissonance and hypnotic blur that they lash out onstage. I honestly couldn’t even remember how they sounded, not because they were unimpressionable, but because their music was so foreign to my ears. ‘Experimental’ seems too aimless for a band that has an exact vision and ‘noise’ seems too understated to their structured concoction of alien samplings, free jazz spirits, low-fi psychedelia, art-punk figures, and droning folk blues.
Guitar strings are broken, lighters are used to create feedback and on their last song ‘Tide’, guitarist Michael Etten starts a moshpit in the crowd while playing the fucking saxophone, which alone, had everyone speechless including Parquet Courts’ frontman Andrew Savage who later agreed that “we were lucky to witness their best show by far”.
Now onto Parquet Courts or Parkay Quartz?
Confusingly enough, there isn’t a huge sonic revelation between the two monikers and the only visible difference are the member changes. PC Worship’s frontman Justin Frye and drummer Shannon Sigley join Savage and Parkay lead, Austin Brown to open the anxious, ‘Everyday It Starts’.
It’s Thanksgiving so they thank the crowd and football for existing. When everybody cheers, they tell us not to get too excited, because they’re talking about American football.
This is exactly the kind of dryness you’d expect from an awry band like them. Everything about them is off; geeky and disunited in appearance, Savage’s moves are springy and spastic while Brown’s is lanky and still. They don’t exactly fit in with today’s rock affinity either, ranging from Ian Mackaye’s hollerings and Gun Club’s cow-punk timbres in ‘Ducking and Dodging’ to Lou Reed’s lyricism and Pavement’s slacker intricacies in ‘Dear Ramona’.
They’re clearly more inclined with obsolete styles both in their sound and in ethics, as heavy DIY scene advocates. Directness is the most efficient and encores are unnecessary. Although many of this gives off the impression of old-fashioned curmudgeons, you get the feeling that they just don’t give a shit.
Words By Kialha Nakahara
Photos By Corey-Leigh John