Home Read Classic Album Review: Yo La Tengo | Nuclear War

Classic Album Review: Yo La Tengo | Nuclear War

The Hoboken indie-rockers drop four versions of Sun Ra's cataclysmic classic.


This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Knock-knock. Who’s there? Armageddon. Armageddon who? Armageddon funky in here. And so are Yo La Tengo.

The Hoboken indie-rock darlings lighten up and get down on this groovy and goofy single featuring four covers of Sun Ra’s classic Nuclear War, a clatteringly percussive, bumptiously booty-shaking, superbly skronky funk-rap romp dedicated to the end of the world as we know it. All of these versions feel fine — especially the one where they enlist a chorus of willing kids to sing Sun’s silly, expletive-laced call-and-response vocals (“When they push that button / Your ass got to go”). Simply put: It’s da bomb.