steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Various Artists

"Yes New York" CD

Vice Recordings

Genres: indie rock, garage rock revival, indie pop

Aug 25 - 31 2003

A clever (okay, not that clever) play on the legendary Eno-produced No New York compilation, Yes New York is a selection of songs from New York's modern breed of rockers, featuring choice selections from The Strokes, Longwave, The Rapture, The Walkmen, Interpol, and Le Tigre, among others. No surprises, but fun nonetheless.

Things start off with a previously unreleased live (in Iceland) version of The Strokes' "New York City Cops," the tune that was cut from Is This It because of "controversial content." It's a very solid tune, one that is extremely listenable and very catchy, and this live version is arguably better than the studio take. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists' "Ballad of a Sin Eater," on the other hand, is pure punk-energy art-rock, with strong emphasis on the energetic vocals, but it becomes a bit bland by the time it hits five minutes. Calla's "Strangler" is pop noir with pained emotion in the smooth vocals; it succeeds in being one of the album's best moments, although its being right before The Rapture on the track listing seems a bit disjointed. The Walkmen are overwhelmingly solid as usual ("Rue the Day"), and Interpol's "NYC" is used, despite the fact that 110% of this compilation's audience will have heard that song infinity plus one times before.

Strong tracks by The Natural History, lcd soundsystem, Le Tigre, and Secret Machines finish out the remainder of the disc, with Unitard's "Year to be Hated" getting honors as Yes New York's last track. It's a bizarre choice, admittedly, but a fun listen regardless.

Put simply, Yes New York is a compilation for fans of the modern New York rock scene. Nowadays, when just about every other person in North America has an extensive knowledge of every single band on the Big Apple's list of garage revivalists, a compilation like this is a nice way to put everything in perspective. Not all inclusive, but a decent rundown, nonetheless.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 16 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]