Sunbathing Animal

Parquet Courts - Sunbathing Animal
Critic Score
Based on 30 reviews
2014 Ratings: #172 / 845
Year End Rank: #30
User Score
Based on 261 ratings
2014 Ratings: #176
June 3, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
What's Your Rupture? / Mom + Pop / Label
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Sunbathing Animal's considered, whip-smart rock revivalism is a work of substantial growth from a band that already did "simple" quite well, placing Parquet Courts in their own distinct weight class.

The Line of Best Fit

While it might not be world’s away from its predecessors or as brain-shudderingly immediate, Sunbathing Animal - with its musical acuity, crisp production and stirrings of emotional depth - is a superior follow-up that improves with every listen. 

A.V. Club

Sunbathing Animal doesn’t see the band fully give itself to a new identity, but it proves Parquet Courts will avoid being typecast by never attempting to follow any course other than its own.

The 405

It is blissfully upfront and honest about the touchstones that it pays tribute to and, despite its apparent lack of originality, bubbles with the exhilarating, flailing spirit that can simply not be taught.


Sunbathing Animal proves that Parquet Courts have, in abundance, an ability to capture their influences and regurgitate them in their own way.

The Skinny

This is no huge departure from Parquet Courts, it makes for another brilliantly jarring experience nonetheless.


There’s nothing complex going on in any of these songs, but the guitar work sounds just as fiery and invigorated as ever, and their hooks are vibrant and incessantly catchy.

Under The Radar

It's cleaned up, more of the same but filled to the brim with charm. 


It is the work of bandmembers in total control of their sound, doing exactly what they should on a second album.

No Ripcord

It widens the scope of influences even further, becoming more refined and pointed as they begin to settle into a new pattern whilst playing some of those old tricks.


'Sunbathing Animal' is not an immediate or cushy listen, but it is gripping; a considered and brutal reminder that Parquet Courts’ aren’t necessarily an accessible band. 


These performances never surrender to the anxiety of influence: All those comparisons are mere reference points for a loose aesthetic that values sustained chordal vamps above all else.


There’s too much spontaneity and instinctive play happening on Sunbathing Animal for Parquet Courts to simply be riffing off anyone else and not be going something of their own vision.

Pretty Much Amazing

It doesn’t provide the thrill-a-minute jolts of Light Up Gold, but Parquet Courts may yet become a garage punk band that millennials can call our own.

Drowned in Sound

Unlike its predecessor, this isn’t quite a thrilling record; its energy and invention, though, points to big things for Parquet Courts, especially if they can continue to adhere to such a ferocious work ethic.


Though less adventurous than on earlier work, Parquet Courts still manage to deliver a unique record that builds on the foundations of the past.


Where punk or post-punk or slacker rock might have described them before, the band seems to embrace its most obvious comparison points on Sunbathing Animal: Lou Reed and Stephen Malkmus.

I feel that between this and Content Nausea both releasing in the same year had cost the band a blow to there quality. This album much like it's 2014 counterpart feels devoid of spirit, the formula and sound are there but this record hardly does anything to make it worth listening to over something like Light Up Gold.

Best Track: Instant Disassembly
Worst Track: She's Rollin
Sunbathing Animal is a raw and vague album.
The lyrics here seem to be ambicious and really emotional. Almost all Parquet Courts albums have a really personal and introspective lyricism (apart from Wide Awake, which reflects the spirit of collectivism). Overall, Sunbathing Animal may sound silly and even boring sometimes but I like it.
A energetic but droopy-eyed indie rock album that gets most of its power as a whole from its clever pacing and sonic flexibility, and as a collection of stand alone songs from Andrew Savage's direct vocal deliveries nestling in to the chugging guitars and stampeding drums.
Above all, it wants to be thoughtful but not heady, and they certainly succeeded in making emotional declarations fun without laying on the cheese.
Not as well produced as their newest release (which makes sense) and much more simple and repetitive then I'd like in some spots, but still a super groovy and energetic "punk" record from one of my new favorite bands.

Fav Tracks: Bodies Made Of, Black and White, Dear Ramona, Vienna II, Always Back in Town, She's Rolling, Sunbathing Animal, Up All Night, Instant Disassembly, Ducking and Dodging, Raw Milk, Into the Garden

Least Fav: What Color Is Milk
This sounds as if the band is playing at 20% power. I get that the intention here is to slow things down, showing a different, more chilled out side of Parquet Courts. I realize that, but it still a slog to get through. Maybe if some of the songs were shorter? I do really like the shorter tracks actually, like Black and White, Sunbathing Animal and Up All Night. But awfully repetitive tracks like She's Rolling completely kills my interest.
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Decade Lists

#140/Pitchfork (2010s)

Track List

  1. Bodies
  2. Black and White
  3. Dear Ramona
  4. What Color Is Blood
  5. Vienna II
  6. Always Back in Town
  7. She's Rollin
  8. Sunbathing Animal
  9. Up All Night
  10. Instant Disassembly
  11. Duckin and Dodgin
  12. Raw Milk
  13. Into the Garden
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Added on: April 1, 2014