Condo F*cks, 'F*ckbook' (Matador)

Critical Mass
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by Steve Kandell

Remember those shitty recordings you made in your basement, playing shambling covers into a Walkman perched on an amp? Yo La Tengo do. In fact, an actual record label just released an album of Hoboken's indie-pop savants stomping through 11 lower-than-lo-fi songs by '60s/'70s warhorses the Small Faces ("What'cha Gonna Do About It"), the Beach Boys ("Shut Down"), and Slade ("Gudbuy T'Jane"), all in one take. The pseudonym and title (a wink to Yo La's mostly-covers Fakebook) indicate how this lark, with oft-inaudible vocals, is meant to be held up against the band's canon. It's the rare album that probably took longer to review than to create.

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