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If you want to be strict about it, "Is Is" is not new material.

It was originally recorded waaaayyyyy back when the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were touring their debut album "Fever to Tell" for the very first time. So it's got the freshness of new material, with the gusto of their frenetic frenetic post-punk here -- it feels like you're going on a nighttime rampage with these guys.

It opens with the thumping intro of "Rockers to Swallow," a volcanic punk ode that seethes with screaming, roaring riffs and smashing drums. "Tell me we're rockers to swallow/Tell me we're knockers to bite/And out of the beats of tomorrow/Tell me what beat fills the night!" Karen O shouts in her raw voice.

It sounds like a a night out at a really dirty, crazy club, which makes "Down Boy" -- all grimy riffs and trembly keyboard -- sound like a breather. They extend their sound further with the driving rock'n'roll anthem "Kiss Kiss", which seems to be about a threesome ("We're three we're three in the dark tonight/And baby my snake is a shark tonight").

And finally "Is Is" winds up with two very dissimilar songs. First it's "Isis," a stately confection of ringing riffs and pulse-like percussion -- it's a good song, but it only breaks loose at the very end. And it finishes with "10x10," a blazing rocker with bubbling electronic edges.

"Is Is" was apparently recorded during a very tough, emotionally turbulent period in the band's history, back before they proved that they were here to stay. Maybe it's because they were touring, but "Is Is" sounds like a wild'n'crazy night out -- drugs, sex, fast driving and maybe smashing somebody with a guitar.

Most of the instrumentation is simple, even if the melodies aren't -- Nick Zinner sets the tone with guitars that twist, screech, loop on themselves, and smash ahead like a thunderstorm, while Brian Chase does some really dazzling jazzy drums as well as his usual smashing ones. A could songs even have some trembling, shivering keyboard.

In this EP, Karen O is... Karen O. What can I say? She has a voice that can scream raw howls at you, then turn into a torchy croon ("Down... down, boy, down!"). And she can sing the songs about dismembered lovers, seaslines and "rockers to swallow" with the rage or pensiveness they require, but always with gusto ("10 X 10, 3 X 3/Was the house that buried me/Did I really drown?").

"Is Is" is a richly rambunctious nugget of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' solid post-punk, and it's about time we finally got to hear these great little songs. Definitely worth getting.
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on 27 July 2007
I'm sorry to use such a horrible pair of cliches, but this EP really does rock AND kick ass.

It's a short, sharp shock of songs, some of which were held over from a few years back (they can be heard on 2004's 'Tell Me What Rockers To Swallow' live DVD) and it provides the missing link between the band's first two albums.

The brutal noise of the drums - a processed metallic crunch - underpins the massive sound, and the songs don't disappoint, particularly the awesome closer '10*10'.

Here's hoping album number three comes quicker than their second LP. But, on this evidence, any wait would be just about worth it.
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on 9 May 2010
It has been said above, and it is a very good point, this is the link between Fever To Tell and Show Your Bones. You can really hear where the raw feeling of FTT is being channeled and made more refined and brooding, particularly in Down Boy. It has its stompers, like Rockers To Swallow and Isis. The end track, 10x10 I feel is a perfect mix of the best elements of FTT and SYB, a real signpost of what was to come when it was released, and now with hindsight the band at a halfway stage in their development between their two long playing releases.
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on 27 July 2007
5 good tracks making up a good value EP. More upbeat than "Show Your Bones", quite melodic and not quite as shouty/squawky as earlier stuff. Reminiscent of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bow Wow Wow and Patchwork Grace.
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on 4 August 2007
This EP has no problem keeping up the YYYs high standards. Each song is raw and rough around the edges. Just as YYYs specialise in. There are no flaws on this EP. Just wish it had been a full album!
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on 15 February 2009
Even if only for Isis, this would be worth the admission. Towering and deep (yes, i know) possibly the best motorway music ever.
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on 26 October 2009
Just that bit different from what I expected. An enjoyable listen though & well worth the purchase.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 November 2015
Brilliant punchy EP that links their first album and second album perfectly
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on 11 August 2007
This EP is no way near as good as Master (their first EP) but its still highly addictive stuff and a reccomended buy for any Yeah Yeah Yeah's fan.
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on 18 March 2013
This is a copy, it is also cracked and dirty! Will not be buying from this person again. Not right to give copies out, what a joke.
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