MUSIC: Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Yeah-Yeah-Yeahs2.pngCONSIDERING it’s been 13 years since New York trio the Yeah Yeah Yeahs burst onto the music scene, time hasn’t tarnished their talent, with even their newest music remaining as fresh and exciting as their first releases. Mosquito is their latest offering, an album consisting mainly of upbeat songs, and with artwork that is interesting to say the least.  The album follows on from 2009’s hit It’s Blitz! and doesn’t differ a great deal from its predecessor (which is no bad thing), although there are a few more raw edges to the songs that hark back to the band’s earlier days.  It’s an innovative album, blending pop, punk, electro and rap to create an explosion of sound that invades the senses and, like a mosquito, is persistent in its catchiness.

The opening track ‘Sacrilege’ is filled with piercing electronic notes, and eventually sweeps into the grand, reverberating notes of a gospel choir that echo hauntingly in the ears long after the song has finished. The band’s experimental style continues throughout the album, with the pulsing rumble of an underground train running through ‘Subway’; and the Crystal Castles-esque voice distortion that adds an ethereal effect to the final bars of ‘These Paths’. Singer Karen O’s distinctive vocals warble and shriek over infectious beats and jagged guitars throughout, sometimes reaching almost impossible falsetto notes before descending to raw growls that spit out snarling vocal punches (see the delightfully snappy ‘Area 52’), and sensuous, liquid tones.  A highlight of the album is ‘Buried Alive’, a pulsing, moody track that explores the need for freedom even in what appears to be a liberated life. The fusion of rap and electro-punk on the track, which has an appearance from rapper Dr. Octagon, adds a new dimension to the album without making it too mainstream radio-friendly. Title-track ‘Mosquito’ is sharp and gritty, while closer ‘Wedding Song’ is simultaneously packed full of vulnerability and power.  The album does feel a little disjointed at times as though the band have tried to include as many different musical styles as possible, but this doesn’t cause the songs to lack any depth or individuality. Mosquito is concise, quick-fire and undeniably addictive from the first listen – once you’ve experienced its infectious bite you certainly won’t want to swat it away.