There’s a riot going on, but it isn’t happening on the latest from Yo La Tengo. All that violence, shouting, general chaos, that’s happening someplace else, and no one wants to hear that. Instead, Yo La Tengo offer a quiet noise, one which buffers out all the mess in our day to day. ‘Dream Dream Away‘ to this one.
Yo La Tengo are the loudest quiet band of them all, and ‘There’s A Riot Going On’ only cements such a thing. The days of feedback fuelled freak-outs are over, they faded out with 2013 album ‘Fade’. Instead the band focus on ambient soundscapes with 60’s styled pop melodies mixed in. ‘Shades of Blue‘ could be a classic cover plucked from the past and given the Tengo treatment, but no, everything here is brand spanking new, which is a surprise unto itself from a band who love nothing more than to rework deep cuts for their own sets.
The mood is consistently peaceful, no ‘Sugar Cube’s‘ in sight, and taken as a whole they aren’t really missed, the lack of a ten minute plus closer of droning guitars is more amiss, for it’s easy to see such a thing living in harmony with the likes of ‘Forever‘ but with the album clocking in at over an hour, there’s plenty of noise laden layers to delve into. In fact, with the instrumental intermissions, it can feel like one sprawling piece anyhow.
Maybe the riot is here after-all, a quiet riot bubbling from within.