Saturday, 6 October 2007



Flying out of New York, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are quite a multifaceted proposition and their popularity should not really be of any surprise to most people even though in practise over principle some of the stuff they are doing is not necessarily the usual staple of their apparent audience.

I have to concede that for the longest time I had the Yeah Yeah Yeahs down as chancers, phonies crowbarring their way into an established scene/movement where the books are mostly closed. For far too long I suspected a lot of what the band was doing was for show. With all the dressing up by Karen O and funny haircuts sported by her colleagues they were just too fashion conscious to contain muso indie cred. Fortunately the records (the music) do hold up to scrutiny.

Another thing that I think initially put me off the band was the manner in which Karen O’s voice reminded (and still reminds) me of Chrissie Hynde, which is quite far removed from the most credible thing in music. This is of course when she is not doing her shrieking witch impression.

Fever To Tell is the record that houses probably the most famous Yeah Yeah Yeahs song in the form of “Date With The Night”. Despite the warbling it is explosive and incendiary. Perhaps my best recollection of this song was a night when I was DJing at an event called the Green Man Roundabout Festival and I accidentally played this song to the most positive response all evening. Go figure.

Ultimately Fever To Tell is a frustrating album caked in style over substance and many attention seeking gestures. As a result of this the true worth of the record (mainly the playing of Nick Zinner) gets sensationally/spectacularly overshadowed and often overlooked.

From here “Man” is just plain weird with its odd posturing and unconvincing might with “Tick” is sound of a princess throwing a fit/strop prior to holding her breath until she gets want she wants. “Pin” then feels like a necessary nod to the abstract scene the band had to be within at the time. If nothing else this truly is the album of monosyllabic song titles.

The eventual noodling of “Maps” serves as a tricky display of desire to expound minds at a more measured pace, which does not necessarily equate to overriding appreciation for the listener.

Towards the end it comes together on “Y Control” as all parts rise to a sum greater than their sole/soul. Unfortunately following “Modern Romance” feels like the revealing of the dull outfit suspicions have always suggested this band could/might be.

I guess the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are just one of those bands I will never “get”.

A group of Asians have just boarded my tube carriage with a big angry looking dog. I’ll listening to and writing about this record now. It will take sterner stuff to give me courage to approach it in one stops times.

Thesaurus moment: casuistical.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

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