"Do I bother to define myself beyond what they allow? / Have I already forgotten how?" Andrew Savage tears his throat out howling this at the apex of "Black and White," a new song his band Parquet Courts debuted last night on Late Night With Seth Meyers. The questions are probably easiest to handle if they're rhetorical: Defiance against unspecified forces of conformity, like chugging garage-rock and squealing feedback, are themselves part of an indie-punk orthodoxy that runs from the Modern Lovers to Cloud Nothings and Courtney Barnett. And yet, as Savage seems to ask earlier in the song, where do we go instead?
The force of his detail-packed lyrical onslaught is bracing, the microphone-as-a-guitar-pick moment works because the band is already firing on all gloriously misshapen cylinders, and Late Night bandleader Fred Armisen skulking out of the shadows is a nice touch. Parquet Courts made their first network-TV appearance on Late Night when it was Jimmy Fallon's, and the same lesson applies here: The more you use it, the more it works. Parquet Courts can define themselves however they want, but you can pick up Sunbathing Animal on June 3 via Mom and Pop.