The Good: Human Revival is a new high for Parquet Courts. They solidify their position as the current standard bearers for the NYC post punk revival movement which has otherwise stalled out this decade and needed this breath of fresh air. There is a lot of variety on Human Revival, Even when songs feel like they are heavily referencing a different band or era in the genre, Parquet Courts manage to find enough new ground to explore to keep things sounding fresh. Finally, the band has been honing their pop writing chops and general proficiency with their instruments. I don’t think a breakout single will necessarily come from this album but it does feature some nice hooks without the band venturing into pop punk sellout territory. Overall, Human Revival sounds like a refinement of Parquet Courts sound, and as such is their best work to date.
The Bad: There isn’t too much to dislike on Human Performance. It pretty much checks all of the boxes for cool new post punk revivalist album from New York. I do wish that the band had not slowed things down as much on songs like “It’s Gonna Happen”. They sound their most vital and alive when they keep a faster tempo, even on thematically melancholy songs like “Berlin Got Blurry”.
The Verdict: Human Performance is my personal favorite rock album released this year and is worth a listen.