Matador, 2009

Who are the Condo Fucks? Are they a real band? Why have you never heard of them until now?  A quick query into your preferred search engine will tell all, but why ruin the surprise. It’s perhaps best in this instance to go with the flow, lest you think this is something it most definitely is not.

A decade since their last album, The Clash-indebted Condo Fucks City Rockers, this New London, Connecticut trio are back with their sixth album, an album of covers no less, lovingly titled Fuckbook. Despite bearing an incredibly similar title to a cover album that a certain Yo La Tengo released in the mid-90s, the sticker on the CD case assures us ‘This is Not The New Yo La Tengo Album’. Take that with a grain of salt and proceed.

If you were to believe everything you read, then this time around the Condo Fucks hit the covers road, tearing through a milk crate of used vinyl, unearthing some forgotten garage, punk, glam, and pop classics. The Trogg’s “A Girl Like You” (a hot track of the moment, having been covered by TV On The Radio’s David Sitek on the Dark Was The Night compilation), Richard Hell and the Voidoids “The Kid With The Replaceable Head” and Slade’s “Gudbye T’ Jane” are some of the notable selections. Lesser known tracks by The Small Faces, Beach Boys, Electric Eels and the Flamin’ Groovies are all purportedly given the Condo Fuck treatment. Whatever that may be.

Not to piss on anyone’s parade, but why this record exists is a little beyond me. Fuckbook is nothing more than the sound of an amateur band fucking about in their garage, rushing through a dozen choice covers in half an hour. The entire set has an audio quality akin to placing a boombox in the corner and hitting ’record’. This is by no means a pristine audio document. The songs are dished out warts and all, full of distortion and feedback. The quickly counted in intros before the final chords of the last song ring out show that this was done purely for kicks. The effort gone into creating the alter egos and back story for this fake band far outweigh the effort taken to record it.

The scribbled artwork doesn’t give you much to go on, but crediting the band members – Georgia Condo on Drums, Kid Condo on Guitar and James McNew on Bass, gives the game away a little. The sticker had it right. This is not the new Yo La Tengo album and this is not the Yo La Tengo you’ve come to expect either, unless you’re a fan of their yearly fundraiser for local New Jersey radio station WMFU where the band play covers for donations. Otherwise, you might want to steer clear. Definitely for Condo Fuckers only.