Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Record Review

Phases and Stages

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Fever to Tell (Interscope) Who needs White Stripes when you can have red welts, the kind left by Karen O's whippoorwill shriek down the back of her "Man" ("I got a man who makes me wanna kill ...")? That same banshee wail is glimpsed on the slap-down grind of its predecessor, "Date With a Night," Yoko Ono's scream therapy seemingly woken from its widowed slumber. Even Wendy O. Williams' vocal goose gets a nipple twist from the Yeah Yeah Yeah's giggling mistress, who fries with Fever to Tell on the NYC trio's full-length debut. Tefloning the lo-fi clang of their 2001, self-titled indie EP breakthrough with Interscope's sugar Daddy Warbucks, Fever to Tell sounds like a tenement rolling, garbage cans bashing some helpless gutter rat ("Cold Light"). Nick Zinner's guitar arsenal goes off like a stock car pile-up, gasoline alley alight with explosions and rampant oil fires, while drummer Brian Chase's funked-up urban clatter kicks the shit out of the clamoring backbeat. A subtle shift occurs midway through Fever, with the staccato guitar of "Pin" and Interpol pulse of "No No No," which erupts with Lower Eastside violence. That same minor chord is struck on the coy, needling "Maps" and most effectively on the Blondie-snark of "Y Control," which brings Fever to Tell full circle from the blue synth-tro of opener "Rich," replete with Karen O's spurned whisper. Her hangman's lament, doubling as the album's bonus track, is the shot of Thorazine rolling the whites of your eyes back with an orgiastic yeah yeah yeah.

***

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