Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Show Your Bones

Interscope Records

The new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album isn't what I thought it would be. There seems to be less Karen O. twisting her voice into razor blade tornado and more of a move to strike a woozy cord that played so well with "Maps," the emotional anchor on Fever to Tell.

"Way Out" could be a anti-Iraq salvo or a song about a constrictive relationship that is doomed. "Lies and love/Lies, love/Bed wetting son of the great heat/." Who could know?

"Phenomena" may be my favorite track, sexy and Joan Jett-like, hard grumbling and spooky howls against a pole dance guitar that suddenly become that low, black groove of Sabbath's "Sweetleaf." At one point the track morphs into this arcade ambient car alarm blitz. I imagine this is the sound Jimi Hendrix, on acid, would make with his guitar trying to capture the sound of himself playing Centipede, and recording the high score.

"HoneyBear" bounces along like a high school marching band cheerleader, swishing and dashing about, and opens with our new favorite "fuck you": "Turn yourself around, you weren't invited." The deeper you go into the album, the further you drift into some other, newer, almost expressly "new" soundscapes being, as if it were their job to be new sounding.

"Dudley" is the old staple "Mockingbird." I don't get it. Is this vanguard transmutative co-opting? Is this a shrill declaration that all generations must rely on the previous outpours for advice and wisdom? Is this conceptual homage to the transmogrification that is this new mercurial work? I don't get it.

"Mysteries" is the perfect example why ONLY The Strokes are allowed to write Stokes songs.

The closer, "Turn Into," has the same sort of weight that a song like "Maps" did, but, this time, instead of a neon twinging pathos, there's more of a freakazoid frenzy to the guitar that tickles your heart, rather than tugging on its strings.

Also, the album is 38 minutes long? Who are these guys, the Ramones?

-- J. Evan Miller <Brillohunter1000 at aol dot com>

lou at louthompson dot com