Show Your Bones

Studio Album by released in 2006

Show Your Bones review

New York fashion favs are back with the positively matured Show Your Bones

Discovered in the wake of The Strokes’ popularity and the subsequent garage rock revival, New York's art-punk trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs comprise singer Karen O, guitarist Nicolas Zinner, and drummer Brian Chase. O met Chase at Ohio's Oberlin College and met Zinner through friends after she transferred to N.Y.U. Zinner and O formed the band in 2000 and recruited Chase when their original drummer bowed out. Yeah Yeah Yeahs wrote a slew of songs at their first rehearsal and soon wound up supporting The Strokes and The White Stripes, earning a significant buzz for their arty-yet-sexy take on garage punk. With their fluorescently salacious approach to music, Yeah Yeah Yeah's burst onto the scene with debut Fever To Tell, a swirling and electronic art-punk album, delivered at a blink-and-you'll-miss-it pace. Now, after a rather lengthy sabbatical, the New York fashion favs are back with the positively matured Show Your Bones. The set was produced by Squeak E Clean and mixed by rock veteran Alan Moulder. “Show Your Bones is what happens when you put your finger in a light socket," singer Karen O says of the album name. "Maybe there is some of that electric current flowing through the tracks of our album illuminating us from the inside out for you to laugh at and cry to or fry to. Or not..."

Show Your Bones is a magnificent and ambitious album

Originally rumored to be a concept album about Ms. Karen O's cat, this album is far more than bound together by any one idea. Progressing from the rock’n’roll rampage of Fever To Tell, Show Your Bones is a magnificent and ambitious album, at times delivering grandiose soundscapes (single Gold Lion), swaggering funk (the LL Cool J-borrowing Phenomena), and anthemic epics (Turn Into You). However, the past life of Yeah Yeah Yeah's still survives in the frenetic Deja Vu, with its Queens Of The Stone Age riffs, and in the distorted beauty of Fancy. The gentle and plangent Way Out, borrows liberally from R.E.M., Sonic Youth, and Nirvana, which is a sign of confidence; the Yeah Yeah Yeahs know that no one will mistake them for anyone else, however much they plunder the past. Yeah Yeah Yeahs are at their best on Cheated Hearts, which sets Karen O's charismatic yearnings against the hardest riffs. This is minimalist rock with real feeling and a subversive, epic range. The sound is big, but it's on a human scale and delivers enough noisy, perfect pop to satisfy your cheapest thrills. The entire record seems hopeful. It is rife with cheery catchphrases and tremulous guitar parts.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs is one of the noughties' most exciting bands

Show Your Bones is the album where Karen O and co. outdo their debut effort with the style and panache you'd expect from a trio of latter-day NY art-rock heroes. It might not have the raucous, festering punk of its predecessor, but the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' new path – a kind of nu-country garage rock hybrid – is just as powerful as anything on Fever To Tell. The album sees the band develop their alternative rock sound, emphasizing this time on heavier drums while lead-singer, Karen O, supplies her trademark intense vocals. Chase is one of rock’s most satisfying drummers; he is capable of complicated polyrhythms but rarely plays anything fussy. Zinner has a talent for writing elegant, howling guitar motifs that often echo, but never overwhelm, Karen O’s singing. Her voice lacks the power of Bjork’s, but she is as versatile a performer. Sometimes she sounds like a barroom country singer; at others, like an Eastern European folksinger, or a ditzy pop star. The songs have all the traits of Top 40 hits: economy, momentum, personality, and pleasure. It's promising to watch the Yeah Yeah Yeahs blossom so quickly. Show Your Bones is an exhausting ride through the trials and tribulations of Second Album Syndrome, and cements their place as one of the noughties' most exciting bands.