Light Up Gold

"I mastered my craft," Parquet Courts' Austin Brown boasts on their debut. And you gotta hand it to him: The Brooklyn-via-Texas band makes near-perfect post-college rock, merging sharp, twitchy post-punk (Wire, The Fall, Gang of Four, The Feelies) and sweet, slovenly early-Nineties indie rock (Pavement, Sebadoh), while nailing all the right 24-or-so themes – not knowing what to do with your life ("Borrowed Time," "Careers in Combat"), not being as smart as you thought you were ("No Ideas"), realizing the world is much bigger and weirder than you'd previously imagined ("N. Dakota"). Parquet Courts are especially versed in the clipped, repetitive buzz of Wire's '77 classic Pink Flag, but, like Pavement, they soften post-punk's cranky edge with the glazed, lonely wonderment of fresh, wide-eyed New York transplants. On Light Up Gold's stellar centerpiece, "Stoned and Starving," Brown and Andrew Savage's guitars make like they're fucking in a crusty sleeping bag while Savage describes a blissfully zombified bodega crawl through Queens: "I was scratching off silver ink/I was deciding what to drink." Stay thirsty, my friend.