Elizabeth Stolfi
staff writer
May 28, 2003
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Rock Music Reviews
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Fever To Tell

In a world of Good Charlottes and Simple Plans, it’s hard to find a credible punk band making their way to the mainstream. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are taking all of the punk music going on today, and completely ignoring it. With unconventional and innovative drums, guitars, and vocals, this band promises to be the real deal.

Even while missing a traditional bass guitar, this band creates a style of their own that reminds you of when punk was a lifestyle, not a product. After creating a buzz for themselves with only a 4 song EP, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs full length album Fever To Tell and lead single “Date with the Night” have already landed them TV spots, including MTV’s new underground rock show “Subterranian”.

The album’s first track “Rich” grabs you immediately with it’s looped distorted guitar effect and pumping drums. Slowly the track builds as singer Karen O chimes in; “I’m rich/like a hot noise/i’m rich rich rich/I’ll take you out boy”. You can almost hear her swagger in her screaching messy vocals. Then on piles a second guitar banging in some power chords. The Ramones inspired three-chord chorus kicks in, and the energy created by this three piece is almost surprising.

“Date with the Night” takes punk guitar riffs as we know it and brings them to a whole new level. The verses spark with excitement and originality, and the chorus...well, it’s simply noisy banging drums and what sounds like the guitar being hammered to the floor with Karen O belching out at each strike. The bridge is nothing but guitarist Nick Zinner sliding up and down the strings. This song defines the album, and the band perfectly.

The lyrics on the album are about as punk as you can get. “Let’s do this like a prison break/I wanna see you scream and shake” Karen shreaks in “Black Tongue. Throw in as many “uh huh”s as you can fit between lines, and you’ve got the most raw vocal performance of the year so far. Screaming and cracking all over the place, stopping and starting whenever she feels like it. You can almost see her spitting and shaking in a basement recording studio with a cigarette in one hand and a beer bottle in the other.

The only negative is that by the end of the album, the screaming and cracking gets kind of...annoying. Luckily, it’s an 11 track album that’s done in just under 40 minutes. Yes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs definately have the attitude and the sound to have some staying power, reminding us that when punk is done the right way, it can be very important. This is definately an important band.

Release date: April 29, 2003
Label: Interscope
Rating: 9.0 / 10

[RMR]