Yeah Yeah Yeahs

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 August, 2007, 12:00am

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Is Is


It took just two releases to establish this American trio as one of rock's more powerful voices.

Fever to Tell (2003) was an all-out, punk-inspired assault while Show Your Bones (2006) tempered things somewhat as the trio expanded their repertoire to include more laid-back ruminations.

Yet good as that second effort was, the overall impression was that it lacked some of the nastiness that helped Yeah Yeah Yeahs shake up our senses.

With Is Is, thankfully, the band seem to have gone back to their roots - and it comes as little surprise to learn the tracks on this EP were all penned between those two albums, played live, then discarded as attention turned to the softer strains of Show Your Bones.

Perhaps it's the presence of producer Nick Launay - the man who helped forge the sound of many seminal acts of the post-punk era including the Birthday Party, Gang of Four and later Talking Heads - but here, singer Karen O is again given free rein to rant and rail, and generally rip things up. She'll leave you trembling and begging for more.

O begins by barking her intro to Rockers to Swallow before backing off - slightly - while Down Boy comes loaded with a lurking, leather-booted malevolence.

By the title track, O is taking no prisoners, with guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase pounding away in the background before backing off to let their leader take charge. It ends in a cacophony as O screams 'wild night', over and over. And it's a safe bet to assume it was one, too.

The beauty of the band has always been their raw power, and they've once again turned that up to full volume. If Is Is shows where the trio are headed, we're in for a rough but rewarding ride.