Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ikara Colt

Wednesday, February 26, 2003, Manchester, UK
Go back, go back: its just like punk rock happened, and then happened again and again. Ikara Colt are a bunch of former art student poseurs who act like they spent hours watching '77 punk footage and striking poses in front of the mirror. If they haven't assimilated, regurgitated, and morphed the shtick of The Fall, then I'm a valium kiche kiche. The bassist wears a school unifom a size too small and acts the poxy epileptic whilst the singer is a southern Mark Smith, spitting a-caustic. The guitarist moves like Karren Ablaze's little sister as she keeps her fretfire burnin'. What do you mean, "Who's Karren Ablaze?" The beers kicks in and I'm possessed by the rancid spectre of Mark E Smith. Two people in a room turn into the most hideous replicas: whilst the singer pulls the young vicious Smith moves I can't stop the joke the joke (after five years in my own PC camp): a heckler spray of Smithisms. The band have finely paced their set, ratcheting up the energy with every consecutive anti-hit. In the end the singer dedicates the last and best number, a new one, to the Rowche Rumbler who's been pointing out the obvious. In the bar members of Manchester garage punkers Jackie O and the Strap Ons are milling through the grinder. "It's showtime," shouts the friendly doorman and Yeahs Yeahs Yeahs seize their time, tour sold out before an album even dropped. First up is the almost genius love-envy song "Maps" extended to extrude salivating anticipation. Many lesser bands would've shot their bolt blasting out the total genius guitar noise pop feast "Why Control?" next. An as yet unreleased gem premiered on their Peel session, its the bastard lovechild of "Drunken Butterfly" and "Passing Complexion" but catchier. The lyrics are simple brilliance and simply brilliant. Are they a nod to Burroughs? How novel for a New York group, the detractors sneer, but its their loss. Karen O sings like a punked up Dolly Parton with a vibrator up her and moves like a trash poseur who doesn't have to look in a cracked mirror. None of the three Yeahs are replaceable parts, and guitarist Nick Zinner has such a great chimecrush crescendo onslaught there's no missing the bass. Predictable that the single "Machine" gets the kids bouncing perhaps, but another new number is an instant foot hit. Yeah Yeahs Yeahs are going to be the biggest rock band since Nirvana, easy. I was there then and I know what I'm talking about, kid. Is it their time to be hated? No, Libertines are the fuckin' enemy. Useless diluters can go piss up a rope. They look like shit!