Yeah, the hype is spiraling out of control. Yeah, the second EP pretty much blew. Yeah, any half-jaded indie rock fan sees right through this as a set-up for the biggest failure of the year.
If it’s not the initial keys of Fever to Tell opener “Rich” that call these pre-conceived notions immediately into question, it’ll be the bouncy guitar riffs that kick in about a minute later. Or, if you’re a true skeptic, it’s won’t be until the voluptuous horror of Karen O’s first wailing “Hey.” By the end of the first track, and eventually by the end of this record, you’ll have some restored faith in these young, hip magazine cover stars/musicians.
The Y3s (sorry, I had to, under contractual obligation) start Fever To Tell with the one-two punch of “Rich” and the first single “Date With the Night,” which finds Ms. O screaming, pounding and writhing out her lyrics. It’s certainly enough to keep you interested for the duration of round one, at the very least. But these kids don’t quit, the next few tracks keep this fuck-you-in-both-ears pace, with some memorable moments. “Boy, you just a stupid bitch and girl, you just a no good dick!” quips Karen O on “Black Tongue” like the Williamsburg art star she was (until she high-tailed it to Jersey).
Then they get all pretty on us. “No No No” showcases the sensitive side of the YYYs (sorry), giving Karen the opportunity to imitate Chrissy Hynde. I’ll admit it, there’s a tear in my Rhinegold, and they may bring down stadiums with this one soon. And then, the next thing you know, they drop the best song of their 15 minutes with “Y Control.” Echoes of guitars (think “Where is my Mind”) provide the background for a bouncy pop dance-floor riff-happy good time. Seven-plus-minute closer “Modern Romance” is a nice come down, with Miss Karen defining a contradiction in terms. I’m convinced — like you say, “Cool kids, they belong together.”