This is all you need to know about Show Your Bones: “In early 2005, the band decided to scrap all of the songs they had written for the record so far and re-invent their style.” And this line comes from an interview the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ queen maiden Karen O did with a website called Contact Music: “We’re not interested in making ‘Fever To Tell Part 2.’”
Well bless your little hearts for trying to reinvent yourselves, but each record since that release has been progressively more disappointing.
What exactly happened to this band? I remember my excitement for the release of Show Your Bones, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ follow-up to their breakout hit, the furious garage rock record Fever To Tell.
I was working at a game store that shall remain nameless but rhymes with ShameMop, and I took an extended break just to pop over to – dating myself here – Circuit City and buy this album on – really dating myself here – a compact disc (cringe, shudder).
The lead “Gold Lion” had caught me as an earworm, with its soaring, angular guitars and creative instrumentation through the use of an additional acoustic guitar, a territory the band had not yet ventured.
I was left wholly underwhelmed until “Phenomena,” which felt like it was all over commercials for what seemed like forever.
It was so disappointing, because I wanted this record to be so much better than it was. I had hopes for it, that perhaps they would become as big of an influence as The White Stripes on the burgeoning loud indie rock scene of that time. Alas, we were left with what felt like flat, radio-friendly duds that lack the heart and soul of songs like “Date With the Night” and “Y Control.”
Oh well. At least Fever To Tell is still a thing.
Standout tracks: “Gold Lion” and “Phenomena,” I guess.
Weakest track: It’s a slippery slope to sheer averagedom after track one.
RIYL: Just listen to Fever To Tell.