LA TENGO is close to being the best band when it comes down to cover songs.
Remember Little Honda on You Can Hear the Heart Beating as One, their
Blondie cover (‘Dreaming’), their Beat Happening cover (‘cast a
Shadow’), and at least half of Farebook songs (especially ‘Speeding
Motorcycle’ with Daniel Johnston …) Here, they are covering the anti-war Sun
Ra 80’s song entitled ‘Nuclear War’. The problem with this ep is that the
song is played four times and even if the versions differ one from another, it
nonetheless gives the impression of a song played four times in a row.
first version is surprisingly catchy for a cover of a sort of jazz song. The
backing vocals are heady and make the song quite lively as a matter of fact. The
second version is exactly the same as the first except that the backing vocals
are sung by naive children voices, which renders this track more appealing.
Indeed, it is rather cute to hear these sweet mischievous voices repeating
along ‘motherfucker’ as if you were having a strange nightmare in which
children on acid spin round you. The third one is a 15-minutes free-jazz version
basically adding a brass anarchy passage to the song. Finally the fourth track
is a Mike Ladd remix, which gives you the opportunity to listen to an electronic
version of this Sun Ra Yo La Tengo cover.
cover is jaunty and it undeniably remains in your mind for the rest of the day
but this ep becomes quickly boring since the song is repeated fourth time.
Anyway, Yo La Tengo die-hard fans can console themselves by downloading (or
purchasing for the respectful ones) their instrumental Sounds of the
Sounds of Science, their Christmas ep or by waiting the release of their new
album in June 2003.
/feb 1st 2003/