Released at a time before Karen O. was regarded as rock's number 1 oddball sex symbol, the YYY EP came out back when the band was still highly unsure where they were going. This is highly evedent in all of these tracks, because they are all very unpolished.
Rather than a track by track, I'm going for a look at the three main parts of the album: the vocals, guitars and drums.
Vocals: Lets get the obvious out of the way. Karen O. does not have a pretty voice. It's sometimes a shrill scream and sometimes a bragging slur. Therefore, she's not exactly always pleasent to listen to.
But, once you get over this fact, you realize that without her this would not be half the album it is. the CD opens with Bang, on which Karen begins whispering "the bigger, the better", already showing her (somewhat frightening) obssession with sex.
Art Star has a strange mix of vocal work for her, as she goes from a bizarre scat tune into a shrill scream. Again, although not entirely pleasent, it does give the song true feeling. This is generally true of all the songs, though her voice gets pretty boring by the end.
Guitar: Nick Zinner, one of my all time favorite guitarists, heavily relies on basic guitar riffs in the entire CD. His style reeks of the good old days of punk (before pop infused bull). Instead of filling all the space he can to try and make up for the lack of bass (as he does tastefully in Fever to Tell), he focuses more on the raw sound of one guitar. This works especially well on Our Time. The guitar work is probably the best part of this band.
Drums: Brian Chase is actually the second drummer for the YYY's (since the first wasn't even able to make it for their first gig). He seems to focus less on making the drums the spine of the track but more a nice complement to the already stellar guitar work. This would normally be the job of bass, but as there is none, Chase fills in to a certain extent.
Although far from a expert drummer, he does what needs to be done to complete the songs. Mystery Girl is an example of a track where his beat goes above just being a complement and essentially makes the song.
Overall this is a good album, which nicely brings back some old school punk ideas, but it's still clearly from the bands earlier stages and does sound pretty ratty at times. It's still necessary if you're a fan of Fever to Tell, as it illustrates where they come from.