Yeah Yeah Yeahs


With only a handful of freshly written songs, the trio was quickly booked on shows supporting the then up-and-coming Strokes and White Stripes. As a result, their artsy mixture of garage, pop, and punk rock was widely embraced by eager music fans. In 2001, Yeah Yeah Yeahs recorded their self-titled EP with Boss Hog's Jerry Teel and released it on their own imprint, Shifty. Wichita Recordings helped out with distributing the debut EP in the UK and Touch and Go Records reissued the disc in the US. In 2002, the band toured abundantly: in The States with Girls vs. Boys, Sleater Kinney, Liars, and JSBX; Joining JSBX once again in Europe and even headlining their own UK tour. Seeing Karen O. flinging her slender body in a genuinely expressive form, Nick Zinner's confident rock star poses behind his guitar and Brian Chase's subtle guy-in-the-shadows way of performing is worth putting up with the long line you might be in, awaiting entrance to one of their undoubtedly packed shows.

Late in 2002, the band released the Machine EP (again on Touch and Go), showing a more artsy, angular side to themselves. This release, only a little more than seven minutes, may have intimidated those Yeah Yeah Yeahs fans more slanted towards their pop side. Most evident in their remix of "Pin," which ended up as more of a soundscape sounding like the bridge when a fuzzy dream becomes a blurry nightmare, was its intented sentiment: beautiful with a tinge of horror.

"Pin" becomes more vivid when it presents its true form on their greatest testimony to date: Their full-length, which came to fruition in the spring of 2003. The album called Fever To Tell, released on Interscope Records, was widely embraced by critics and fans, even by those who panned the band's prior releases. Perhaps because in this album Yeah Yeah Yeahs finally show their romantic side-well, their version of romance anyway. Sure, there are songs like "Rich" and "Date With The Night" which exhibits the band that we're used to: their usual debaucherous, hair flinging, party-self. For the rest of the album we have songs like "Fever To Tell"– a song in tribute to affection so potent it's violent, an emotion continued within the album in "Tick" and the aforementioned "Pin." "Black Tongue" shows us the wrath of this love, once it fails. Songs become gentler, more sincere and personal still as the record comes to a close in "Maps" and in "Modern Romance." As a whole– the band doesn't let up on its trademark straightforwardness or songwriting's simplicity- but they show that they can refine it and make it better still.

Celeste Tabora