The 15th Anniversary: Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Yeah Yeah Yeahs EP”

Celebrating Under the Radar's 15th Anniversary and the Best Albums of 2001

Dec 29, 2016 Web Exclusive By Matthew Berlyant Bookmark and Share


Under the Radar's very first print issue came out in December 2001. In honor of our 15th Anniversary some of our writers are reflecting on some of their favorite albums (and movies and TV shows) from 2001, that are also celebrating their 15th anniversary.

Although Yeah Yeah Yeahs' self-titled, 5-song EP was self-released on their own Shifty label in 2001, the most important date in their early career was quite possibly January 19, 2002. That's the date that The Strokes first appeared on Saturday Night Live with guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. wearing a Yeah Yeah Yeahs pin. Perhaps that was just symbolic of the major-label feeding frenzy then permeating the Brooklyn underground post-punk revival, but that was also the moment where the band went from art-school hopefuls with a much talked-about live show to one of many bands then feted as the next Strokes. But all that is meaningless without this absolutely killer introduction to the world. Their decidedly Cramps-like garage-punk featured  guitarist Nick Zinner, drummer Brian Chase, no bassist, and Karen O, a vocalist who resembles and sounds like nothing less than a beer-swilling Siouxsie Sioux meets Christina Martinez.  "Mystery Girl" features a surf motif while "Art Star" features said O's blood-curdling screams in lieu of a chorus, yet it somehow works. The EP culminates with the closer "Our Time," which musically resembles Tommy James and the Shondells' "Crimson and Clover" while being the closest thing the early '00s Williamsburg scene had to an anthem. It clearly was their time and of course, you all know what happened next. Interscope signed them, their excellent debut full-length Fever to Tell almost went gold on the strength of the ballad "Maps" and they've made several more albums over the years while O has pursued acting and a solo career along with guesting on Swans records. Yet none of that would be possible without this shot to the heart of the early '00s New York scene.



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12:09am

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