Yo La Tengo - There's A Riot Going On
With a title like There’s A Riot Going On, you might expect Yo La Tengo to come out swinging, (albeit, with more of a taciturn approach), with songs reflecting these frustrating and frightening times. They’ve done so before, (feel free to call up the massive and chaotic I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass), but perhaps they’re looking to deflect these motives and instead focus on a righteous sustain. A dynamic calm.
As the slow-burn flames linger throughout the middle section of their latest double album, you start to catch the wave they’re riding. It’s the trio of songs that unfurl between sides two and three that reveal their ambitions as you settle into the cathartic chill of “Dream Dream Away.” Yo La Tengo, always the masters of mood, know how to walk the line of subtle shifts and punched up noise-rock. However with There’s A Riot Going On, they drift more towards German kosmische with the cosmic layering of “Shortwave” and the jazzy, Sun-Ra influenced “Above The Sound” that features James McNew returning to his newly-learned upright bass. There is some immediacy present on the breezy and beautiful “For You Two” and the late-night pop of “Shades Of Blue,” not to mention playfulness as displayed on the palate cleansing trifle “Esportes Casual.”
But the reason to hop on board with There’s A Riot Going On is for the steadily shifting tone poem they have elaborately scripted across 2 LPs. Thirty-four years since their inception, Yo La Tengo continue their streak of producing exceptional music. Never a letdown to be had. (Dom)
Check out a track here.