Yeah Yeah Yeahs
According to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ website, the tracks on their new Is Is EP were written in 2004, but they “…guarantee you’ve never heard them like this before….” The five songs in question are here produced by famous Nick Launay, a very established name in the 1980s music that is so influential in current rock and on this band in particular. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs cite his engineering work with Public Image Ltd. as having been especially meaningful in their having chosen him. The end product is not as retro as you might imagine; it’s even a little edgy. The 1980s affectations do not seem to weigh down their underlying confidence as artists and performers, which is as it should be: style is something to be employed only after you’ve mastered the basics.
Knowing that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have a history of working with notoriously distinct-sounding producers does cause one to wonder if the band doesn’t rely upon this trick a little too much. There is a very dynamic aspect to these recordings that seems more the work of arrangement than of writing, for instance. Without such savvy choice in director, would they be just another post-punk rock band? It’s difficult to say with certainty, but doesn’t undermine the fact that their recordings are essentially enjoyable, either.