Yo La Tengo

April 12, 2007

As if they didn’t have me with the title, the first track on Yo La Tengo’s 12th album in 20 years is a nearly 11-minute tour-de-force of 6-string sickness, courtesy of Ira Kaplan—a true indie rock guitar god—who rages with equal parts fuzz-drenched noise and quirky melodicism. After the incendiary leadoff track, however, you’re ushered through poppy stylings, trippy soundscapes, short-burst rockers (“Watch Out For Me Ronnie” sounds like a punky rave-up of Little Feats’ “Teenage Nervous Breakdown”). Through it all, Kaplan shines, as his parts always surprise the listener no matter what kind of tune. And for me, that’s what it’s all about.

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