Things go in waves, and as Yeah Yeah Yeahs prove, some things go in ten-year waves. So anyone wistfully remembering the days of Karen O deep throating a microphone will be pleasantly surprised by the band’s latest output.
2009 had the trio churning out hi-fi pop LP ‘It’s Blitz’, but after that they hit a bit of a low. And returning to their roots by hitting up a low-budget studio in downtown Manhattan seems to have done them the world of good (as has, naturally, production from TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek and Nick Launay).
There’s heaps of delay, raw guitar-work and of course a great deal of ferocious shrieking. Opener ‘Sacrilege’ sets a high precedent for the rest of the album - it’s a lo-fi return to their early punk sound, when out of nowhere a twenty-four-piece gospel choir show up, chanting “Sacrilege you saaay” - a line that aches for a sing-along and eternal handclapping. Second track ‘Mosquito’ stings harder, making blood-sucking threats at the listener, and ‘Area 52’ has Karen soundtracking a lazer-ridden alien invasion. Even Kool Keith shows up for some rap work on ‘Buried Alive’.
‘Mosquito’ is a much-needed return to the days of ‘Fever To Tell’ and ‘Machine’ - it embraces the band’s early, reverb-heavy sound but also tips its hat to the dance feel they’ve been honing in recent years. Welcome back guys.
Words by FELICITY MARTIN