Yo La Tengo

There’s a Riot Going On

Matador

Mar 16, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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Much like when Sly & The Family Stone first proclaimed the same message, There's a Riot Goin' On, in 1971 in response to Marvin Gaye, Yo La Tengo find themselves relaying the same message 47 years plus later. The legendary Hoboken, New Jersey trio have seen plenty in their over 30 years as an active band, Reaganism, wars in the middle east, voting controversies, but perhaps nothing like the current era we find ourselves in today.

Yo La Tengo's 15th full-length album sees the core trio Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan, and James McNew exorcise their collective anguishes at the world in long, drawn-out jam sessions that eventually became this record. As a result, There's a Riot Going On is perhaps the band's most self-reflexivesomething the band have spent more than enough time doing alreadyand dreamy.

It is a rather dark dream, however, which although never quite tips over into nightmare territory, there's a strange feeling of tension that sits below these chopped and screwed tracks. Whereas on 2013's Fade, the band's vocals and lyrics were front-and-center, for instance, Yo La Tengo's latest sees them almost drop out entirely to another mere instrument gasping for air in these densely layered tracks.

The overall effect is a truly hypnotizing one, a perfect nighttime record if you will. The band constanting looking back to things like Beach Boys melodies and doo-wop music and re-constructing them under their post-rock gaze has always been present, but this time around it is not only the main focus of the music but on a deeper level, also symbolically more of a comment on society's constant yearning for nostalgic times in fear of the future. (www.yolatengo.com

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