Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Down Boy

Tim Miller 02/08/2007

Rating: 4/5

One of rock's most frustratingly peripheral acts, Yeah Yeah Yeahs have legions of baying fans, not to mention Karen O devotees, but two albums in and they've still not quite hit the big time. A quite dazzling and breathtaking live spectacle, it wouldn't be too prudent to suggest that Yeah Yeah Yeahs' furiously explosive three-pronged attack doesn't always lend itself to record.

Down Boy, though, is a departure from the rollercoaster rock that has become their trademark sound. The misty opening to this single, an extract from their their recent EP Is Is, sees swirling organs and an unusually shy-sounding Karen spending a full 45 seconds wallowing, before erupting into an entirely different prospect. Clattering drums and beefy, crunchy guitar chords, Down Boy plays out as a juddering, walking-pace stomper, Karen O continuing to barely whisper her male-aimed instructions.

Only in the outro does a momentary glimpse of the unrestrained and wild Yeah Yeah Yeahs climb into view, but otherwise this is strong, more considered single from the three-piece. And, on the whole, it's a great success.

Is Is Ep was released 23rd July 2007