With Human Performance, their third proper album and first for London’s legendary Rough Trade Records, Parquet Courts offer a fine testament to rock’s continued power and relevance. They might mine the past for feedback and eccentricities, but their astute lyrics tackle the present head-on—co-songwriters Savage and Austin Brown write as if their songs might have real-world consequences. Parquet Courts emerged at a good time, when we yearn for something slightly more intellectual and aware and less about vibe—a longing that has spread into all areas of music culture. While not explicitly political, Parquet Courts are definitely a thinking band, and a critical one, which is equally important when the world is falling apart. At its best, Human Performance is Parquet Courts in a mellower, heart-stopping Velvet Underground mode, but it is also at turns upbeat and funny, sensitive and odd. Compositionally, these are the most dynamic Parquet Courts songs yet.