Nineties alt-rock favorites Yo La Tengo have released a new album of cover songs under the moniker of Condo Fucks. Presumably taking its title from their 1990 album Fakebook, this eleven-song effort has been christened Fuckbook. A refreshing slice of lo-fi garage/grunge, these covers are the raw and dirty antithesis to today's pro-tooled mania.
Their cover of the Small Faces' “What'cha Gonna Do About It” kicks off the album and firmly establishes the stripped-down approach with its feedback and fuzzy guitars. “Accident” continues the noisy, in-your-face vibe and makes me feel like I should be at a party drinking beer. “This Is Where I Belong” is a little more mellow, but just as loud.
This is followed by two covers of Beach Boys classics: “Shut Down” and “Shut Down Part 2”. The rough punk approach works pretty well for re-interpreting surf music, and I especially enjoyed their spin on the instrumental “Part 2”, which is easily my favorite cut on the record. I also quite liked “The Kid With The Replaceable Head”, which I thought really nailed the perfect combo of in-your-face distortion.
Sixties and early seventies music dominates the setlist here, continuing with covers of the Troggs (“With a Girl Like You”) and Slade (“Gudbuy T'Jane”). The inspiration of these classics is evident in the way the Condo Fucks embrace such a raw method of recording—it sounds like the band were actually in the same room playing at the same time when they made this album! Imagine that! I just love hearing this kind of primal rock that hasn't been polished or prettied up. I know not everyone will share my enthusiasm; Fuckbook will probably be unlistenable to a lot of people. But I think that's the whole point.