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CD: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito | reviews, news & interviews

CD: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito

CD: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito

Can hipsters be hip ten years on?


On hearing the opening track of this album, a friend said “I didn't expect to be listening to new albums of the YYYs 10 years on!” And this is kind of understandable: of all the new rock bands of the early 2000s – The Strokes, The Vines, The Hives, The White Stripes – they had the most air of hipsterism, their kooky demeanour and New York clubbability making it understandable that some could think they were a trend-driven flash-in-the-pan sensation.

In fact it was their NYC compatriots The Strokes who all but collapsed under the weight of their own archness, while in contrast what drove the YYYs, for all their way-out outfits, stage antics and electro experiments, was more than anything unadulterated, un-ironic rock adrenaline. And it's that you can hear in that opening track, “Sacrilege”: a little bit of “Gimme Shelter”, a little bit of disco, a load of funky reverb-o-rhythm studio effects, a whole lot of punk and a walloping great gospel choir coda, all powered by a palpable need to share the electric buzz of great rock performance.

The echo box is almost the lead instrument here. From the spacious sparkly electro ballad “These Paths” and the spookily beautiful “Subway” to the bass heavy groover “Under the Earth” – which sounds as if Ennio Morricone had soundtracked a club scene in a '60s kung fu movie – and the sweaty punk groove of the title track, the instruments play along with their own reverberation, leading to a well-sprung, stoned lope throughout. The song structures themselves are not sophisticated, but they groove their way to satisfaction, and the hooks on almost every track are addictive for all their lack of subtlety. And that's the kicker: for all their bells and whistles, the YYYs are all about the direct delivery of pleasure, and manage it just fine once again.

Watch The Yeah Yeah Yeahs perform "Sacrilege" on Letterman

The echo box is almost the lead instrument here: the instruments play along with their own reverberation


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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I've only heard "Sacrilege", but I am so psyched for this album. Especially after your great review Joe: "as if Ennio Morricone had soundtracked a club scene in a '60s kung fu movie" - YES.

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