Aural Pleasure: Nickleback, Parkay Quarts and Ariel Pink

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Parkay Quarts | Content Nausea | What’s Your Rupture? | ★★★

For a band that does casual brilliance so well, it warrants asking: What would an actual tossed-off Parkay Quarts record sound like? Content Nausea is likely as close an answer as we’ll ever get (Parkay Quarts is half of Parquet Courts, with the alt-spelling meaning all input came from songwriters Andrew Savage and Austin Brown). Released a few months after Sunbathing Animal, Content Nausea plays like an excuse to use up everything left over from those sessions: the suppressed rants (“Content Nausea”), leftover riffs (“Everyday It Starts”) and that horn section they hired (“Pretty Machines”). In that sense, it follows The Smashing Pumpkins’ Pisces Iscariot or Deerhunter’s Weird Era as a sort of unloading exercise. The comparison also works by virtue of displaying just how shit-hot PQ is right now: Even when they try not to try, they come up with gems like “Slide Machine” and “Uncast A Southern Myth.” Content Nausea may not be an essential record and, at worst, it’ll simply send you back to the previous releases with newfound respect for their craft. But at best, it’s more solid material from a band on a serious roll. —J.D. Swerzenski

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