Yo La Tengo’s aggressively titled new record, “I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass,” cheerfully backpedals into the realm of fuzzed-out indie rock that made the band great in the first place. Bookended by sprawling, Ira-Kaplan-patented guitar jams, and jammed in the middle with joyful pop songs and melancholy, slower numbers, the record’s the first of its kind since “I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One.” Songs like “Beanbag Chair,” with its hop-along rhythm and piano-driven musicianship, bring the best out of the band’s sixties-pop influences, while “Mr. Tough” funnily recalls Motown and oldies grooves, and “I Feel Like Going Home” uses Georgia Hubley’s bass-y vocal delivery, and the sheer somberness that comes with it. It’s not a perfect record—it drags a little towards the end—but it’s a welcome return after the disappointing “Summer Sun.” Plus the band’s live show is second to none. (Tom Lynch)
October 5 at the Vic Theatre.