If the name Condo Fucks sounds familiar, it’s probably from the band’s appearance in the fake catalog of Matador releases included in Yo La Tengo’s 1997 album I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One. That’s the first clue as to the true identity of the band the label has dubbed a “legendary New London, CT trio.” The second: Condo Fucks’ “fifth” album sounds an awful lot like Yo La Tengo passionately goofing its way through a bunch of favorite covers.
Yo La Tengo is no stranger to others’ music, from its cover-heavy 1990 classic Fakebook (note the similar title) to a gorgeous take on Blondie’s “Dreaming.” But where past tributes have found the trio making the material their own, here, they seem content simply to serve the song, breezing through classics and obscurities by Small Faces, The Troggs, and others like the happiest band in garageland. It’s a purposefully sloppy set—played loose and recorded functionally—but no less winning for it.
Condo Fucks share some of Yo La Tengo’s favorite bands, but take a different approach to their material. On Fuckbook, they offer a version of “This Is Where I Belong” fuzzier than The Kinks would have dared, and a take on The Beach Boys “Shut Down” (parts one and two) that gives it a bit of drag menace it never had before. Fuckbook’s 30 minutes are about as inconsequential as albums get, but they’re also perfect as a low-ambition vacation from the band’s usual sound, and as convincing a tribute to the beauties of loud, fast, hooky rock ’n’ roll as you’ll find outside a Nuggets collection.