'Fever to Tell' is messy. Very messy. Empty yet chaotic. It touches you, punches you, then pushes you away.
'Rich' kicks it all off with a simplistic keyboard melody, a bit like one of those musical birthday cards, then follows the drums, Karen’s vocals and finally bass-heavy guitar chords. Yes, mess is what the YYYs do best.
Every element of FTT sounds like it’s come from somewhere else. 'Pin' is No Doubt if they went to art school.
Imagine a female-fronted, upbeat country band and you are on your way to 'Black Tongue'.
'Tick', meanwhile, is bursting with riot grrl-style punk, and 'Man' instantly reminds me of Brassy but without the scratch DJ.
There’s everything mixed up in here. Thrown back at you is a noise that gets your feet tapping, your head nodding and your hand itching to whack up the volume control.
'No, No, No' has Karen acting as a agony aunt: _"He’ll never come back as the man you dropped, he’ll never come back as the man you loved"_, it almost merges into metal territory, then - shhhh - it quietens down to the sound of 'Kid A' era Radiohead jamming with Sonic Youth.
Starting with a guitar sounding like an alarm bell and tribal drum, 'Maps' turns out to be the half way point of the album, the point where things slow down, we're nearing the end of the night on the town. Karen’s vocals here remind me of Sophie Ellis Bextor: her ooh’s are highly pitched and slightly threatening, and musically it's Seafood. I fell in love the moment I heard it, by far the best track on the album. "Wait, they’ll love you, like I love you"…amazing.
YYY’s ballad, 'Modern Romance', is about the joys and hazards of, well, a modern romance, maybe even that it no longer exists. Hints of Mogwai sneak in: repetitive drums, haunting guitars and violin. The track is then finished off with the sound of sleigh bells, silence follows then, what appears to be another track, starts. Is this part 2 of 'Modern Romance' or a hidden track? Does it matter? _"I’m afraid of a lot of things"_ sings Karen "But I ain’t afraid of loving you."
Finally, we have 'Yeah! New York', a much more ‘normal' garage rock tune but given that YYY edge, adding seriously strange lyrics, "red hair, pink eyes, yeah! big apple", and Karen’s ooooooweeeeeooooh’s. Before this is even finished I’m reaching over ready to press play again.
8Melissa Harflett's Score