The Zero Hour

Reviews, rants and oddities on video game and film culture.

Music Monday #1: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Show Your Bones

So this is a new thing I’m kind of testing out (you may remember I reblogged a thing about possibly expanding “Posting a track on Mondays and calling it Music Monday) Every Monday (maybe), I’ll write a little something about some of my favourite albums, post links to key tracks from it and just generally be all “This is really great” Maybe some weeks, it’ll be something different, like an artist spotlight or something, I don’t know, this isn’t really a music blog. (Also, submissions and suggestions are welcome)

Week #1: Show Your Bones – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Released: 2006

There’s something really magical, surreal and in some ways mystical about Yeah Yeah Yeahs. They’ve released 3 albums so far, Fever To Tell, It’s Blitz!, and in between those, Show Your Bones. Each one is a really very different experience. Fever To Tell is essentially a giant punk jam; simple structures, hard riffs and vocalist Karen O screaming like a banshee. Show Your Bones is more spiritual and developed, with an addition of acoustic backing and Karen reprising her more soulful vocals of Maps. And It’s Blitz! is an all-out 21st century disco stomper. I really love this band, and I love all 3 of their albums, but the one that stands out to me the most is easily Show Your Bones.

First of all, a confessionOn my first listen of SYB, I wasn’t blown away by it. I liked it, don’t get me wrong, but I’d already heard the other two and they have an immediacy that Show Your Bones just doesn’t have. Yes, Gold Lion is a really good grabbing opening number, but to follow it up with what are almost twee indie pop songs seemed strange after Fever To Tell. But on the second or third listen, it hit me and it immediately just soared above the others. It’s got this incredibly mystical quality to it. For some reason, when I listen to this, I think of nature, I think of woodlands and weirdly, I also think of witchcraft. On Fancy, which may be the heaviest song they’ve ever done, it breaks down into Karen O doing what sounds like incanting a spell whilst Nick Zinner’s guitars wisp around her in this psychedelic moment before breaking back into what they do best, pounding riffs like they’re pounding heads.

But Fancy aside, this album is a lot subdued, emotional and passionate. Whilst there isn’t a track as beautiful as Maps, there’s about 4 that come pretty close, and it’s the extra instrumentation that allows this to be possible, acoustic guitars, slight synth layers just give the album a bigger feel and make a track like Dudley or Turn Into just incredibly beautiful pieces of work. To be honest, it surprises me that only a little amount of quirky indie movies (you know the type) have used tracks from this album, it’s tailor made for soundtracks, I can imagine Turn Into playing towards the end of a movie, I can see Cheated Hearts over a scene of youthful energy, Fancy or Phenomena over someone losing their shit. Ok, so Gold Lion was used for an iPad advert last year, but sssh, that doesn’t count.

Anyway, whilst Fever To Tell and It’s Blitz are about the urgent and the immediate. Show Your Bones is layered, deeper and a more satisfying album if you give it the time it right fully deserves, It’s indie-pop at its finest and that’s why I’ve picked it as this weeks album.

Key tracks:

Turn Into


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