When you read the news with one eye closed and clenching your asshole, something’s up. I’ve thought about just letting go, not reading that shit. Hasn’t everyone? Cause it’s all just too fucking much: school shootings, nukes, bombs, this fucking racism shit, etc. All these piles of shit smashing into your face at hypersonic AI algorithmic velocity. Primed, prettied, and ready to fuck up your shit at breakneck speed. There’s not even enough time to accept the world’s last giant fuck up before the next one lies at your feet like a hot pile of shit in a burning paper bag. I’m punch drunk from tragedy. Unable to think, to defend, or react. In the end, you just numb to it. So, what the fuck do we do?
It’s time to listen to some smart and sincere punk, motherfuckers.
This is a line from Parquet Courts first song, “Total Football”. The name of this title track comes from a tactical theory in football where any player can play any position. The band uses this term to apply to our fucked up situation. They believe it’s better to band together against all this shit than to sit behind the latest electronic pad numbing the fuck out. It’s a solid point to make.
This is hardly the smartest idea on this album. This shit is jam-packed with intelligent fucking lyrics. Like, fuck me, this shit is majorly fucking intelligent. It’s one of those albums where you keep your finger on the pause button so you can press it to let that last line sink in. If the education system were smart enough, they’d be studying this shit as poetry. Don’t believe me? Very happy that you don’t. Check it:
“Violence is the fruit of unreached understanding that flower from the lips of scoundrels. It is a forest so dense and rooted in our past. It tempts us to become lost in its darkness.”
Holy fucking shit, right? This is T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Philip Larken type of shit. Except, unlike those badass motherfuckers, these lines were written for today, for us, for our situation at this fucking moment. These lines come out lightning fast and in front of a groovy bassline and solid organ shots. So, not only is this shit smart, but it’s fun as well. Don’t think I’m cherry picking lines to make this shit seem more intelligent than it is. This shit is dense. It’s thick. It’s deep. Also, don’t confuse weight with depth and lightness with stupidity. The best works can get to the point without having to draw blood. And this is exactly what this album does. It comes out like The Clash, keeps you grooving, and makes its point perfectly. Sometimes the only cure to numbing out is a swift, hard, punk-filled slap to the face.