Was it my imagination or did I see dozens leave after Parquet Courts had played? Even though they were tonight’s support act, the clammy crush down the front suggested that many people were here to see whether all the blog-love showered on Parquet Courts was warranted. With vocals alternating between Andrew Savage and Austin Brown, presumably because of jetlag and Savage’s sore throat, they start their set with a unnamed, dark and brooding number that infiltrates itself in your cranium on the strength of its pulsebeat, then follow it with the perfect one-two of pyrotechnic pop noise in ‘Master of My Craft’ and ‘Borrowed Time’, kicking off the first unruly mosh of the night.
They perform most of Lights Up Gold but with the more experimental Fall-esque influence of debut record American Splendor peeking through in episodes of scratchy feedback and angular soloing – smart guys putting their own spin on stoner rock. They end on a stretched-out and feedback strewn ‘Stoned and Starving’, sending the apes in the moshpit crazy but then mutating it into some motorik marathon. Maybe it’s the jetlag but there’s a slightly flat feeling to the night – good undoubtedly as it is to hear these tracks, it doesn’t have the same kick as on first hearing the album.
The Men play unrestrained wild-savage guitar rock, but there’s a bit too much unrestrained riffery for my taste. There’s some soaring space-rock to open the set and they pile on all sorts of influences, including Neil Young and psych-rock, but it left me feeling that you can over-explain and over-sell what’s essentially a half-decent bar band.