Sink into the latest Yeah Yeah Yeahs album
By Jacey Gibb, Assistant Editor
It’s been four years since the Yeah Yeah Yeahs dominated our music players with It’s Blitz (2009), but Karen O and the boys are back to provide us with another 11 tracks, robust with their signature style of frantic, spit in your face punk-rock.
“Sacrilege,” Mosquito’s first track—and not surprisingly, first single—does exemplary work in establishing a post-modern setting, one rampant with double standards and such emotional abuse that you’re left wanting more. One of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ most recognizable trademarks is undoubtedly O’s screechy vocals, which she has no quarrels demonstrating throughout Mosquito. Other standout tracks include “Under the Earth,” a gradual militant buildup of a number complete with echo effects, and “Area 52,” which brings some literalness to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ alarming pace, sampling an actual alarm in the track’s opening. If you’re aching for something a little different from what the band usually churns out, track eight “Buried Alive” comes across as more of a duet than anything else, with O and rapper Dr. Octagon sharing five minutes of apocalyptic background music.
While the next Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ album was bound to pale coming after Blitz, Mosquito falls flat for other reasons too. Though this applies to most albums in the band’s discography, my biggest complaint comes from the album’s pacing. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are notorious for disrupting the flow of otherwise go-go-go albums with overwhelmingly sombre numbers, which doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, but it causes the album to fall into a weird category. It’s not quite something you’d sit down and get introspective to, but it’s also not a good fit for a Saturday night out with friends; a genre Frankenstein that fits both moods, and neither at the same time.
Unevenness aside, Mosquito is a welcome return for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and still manages to pack a sting without straying too far from the sound we’ve grown to love.