Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Is Is

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Rockers To Swallow" (YSI link)

Yeah Yeah Yeah, "Rockers To Swallow [live]" (YSI link)

Yeah Yeah Yeah, "10x10 [live]" (YSI link)

Let's keep going on the NYC band kick with another of those groups that came out of the fertile early period of this decade in the city, Yeah Yeah Yeahs. They released a new EP a few weeks ago, Is Is, reportedly done in a one day recording session in New York. These songs have all been road-tested, having been written and performed on the Fever To Tell tour for quite awhile. So, it makes sense that these ones were ready to go when they finally got into a studio. I' m here to tell you that it is a very good thing that they got into the studio, as this is a really dope EP, 5 songs, no filler, no letdowns. I've always been a big fan of the YYYs (how could one not pledge allegiance to the band that dropped "Maps"), but have always felt like their two LPs have been hit or miss, filled with some amazing stuff but also an equal amount of iPod right-click stuff. The band honestly seems made for the EP format, quick hitting, so focused, far more devastating.

"Rockers To Swallow" is the best track for me, a stripped down, raw, nasty rawk tune. Unlike most of my favorite YYY tunes, like "Maps" or "Cheated Hearts," this one doesn't have any catchy refrain or melody. It's much closer to the loud and rough live sound the band has; it features Ms. Karen O doing her thing, screamingl, breathlessly spitting out lyrics and guttural noises. What makes this one so good though is her supporting cast of Nick Zinner and Brian Chase, who rip shit up on this one. It's almost as if all three are competing for the spotlight, fighting it out with their instruments to see who is standing last. Chase's drums are the key for me, hi-hats galore, manic and unstoppable. Zinner is on his game, able to go crazy for short segments, then pull back and let the other two come back. I've also added two live versions of songs from the EP, taken from the DVD, Tell Me What Rockers To Swallow. That DVD and these songs were from the post-Fever To Tell, pre-Show Your Bones. The EP is where it's at, but it's nice to hear these songs in their infancy in a setting where the YYYs excel, on stage.

Okay, buy the EP now, as it's highly recommended for fans and beginners alike. Oh, and it's super cheap at less than $7, so add it to an order for the new MIA, Okkervil River and whatever else is dropping now. I'd also recommend fans pick up the DVD that the live tracks come from, which is a good look at one of the best live bands in the world. Oooh, we might throw up a little more YYYs this week, how does that sound?

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