ARTIST: Yo La Tengo
TITLE: New Wave Hot Dogs
YEAR RELEASED: 1987
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: The Asparagus Song (a bonus track now)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Maybe not
LINEUP: Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, Stephan Wichnewski
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: YLT takes a big step, as Kaplan is the sole guitarist and decides to let his inner guitar hero out for some tunes.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Kaplan and Hubley regrouped after two members left Yo La Tengo, with Kaplan taking charge of the guitar. While some songs are still in the gentler neo-folkie ground, but songs like “Clunk”, “Let’s Compromise” and “House Fall Down” show where Kaplan really liked to go – loud, distorted and fun.
A song like “Lewis” which is one of the songs that doesn’t go all loud and distorted shows a better touch by Kaplan on his playing as well and “Serpentine” introduces their love of the farfisa organ adding to the guitar workout.
It’s a better record than their debut, the songs are better, the sound is better and Kaplan’s songs are better. His new guitar sound enhances the record. It would take some time for them to evolve into the indie force they have become, but it’s another good step.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: This is now included (and even streaming) with their follow-up EP President Yo La Tengo.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Well, “The Asparagus Song” is also appended on the two-fer.
GRADE: B: Better guitar sounds, better songs. A decent album, but still not where to start the YLT journey.