Monday, March 2

Yeah Yeah Yeahs- 'It's Blitz!'

. Monday, March 2

Following the lo-fi 'Isis' EP Karen O, Nick Zinner and Brian Chase return with a glossy, emotive and ultimately superb third album.

From the moment 'It's Blitz' begins you know it is an album with eyes on the dance floor. The opening double salvo of 'Zero' and 'Heads Will Roll' are shimmering disco at its finest: big beats battling with even bigger melodies amidst a wall of synths introduce Karen O as the evenings master of ceremonies. It's an odd sound at first- so glossy and polished, so anti 'Fever To Tell' era YYY's that you almost long for the buzz saw guitars and pounding drums especially in 2009, a year saturated with synth pop.

This is, of course, pure coincidence though and if anyone is going to subvert electro and make it gloriously twisted then it will be Karen O. She spends much of this album bi-polar, manically switching between bouncing up and down and rocking back and forth. 'It's Blitz!' is an album of extremes, from the up-beat anthems to the melancholy tear jerkers. Making up the party starters are the aforementioned opening tracks alongside 'Dull Life' and 'Dragon Queen'. The latter is a Studio 54 slinky stomp with purred lyrics about kissing and getting high whilst 'Dull Life' sees Zinner strap on his guitar and channel the spirit of 2001 with barking riffs spurring his band leader into increasingly rabid vocals.

If the faster tracks on 'It's Blitz' are what initially draw you in then it is when things are taken down a notch that have you coming back. For all their trashy glamour Yeah Yeah Yeah's can break hearts with the best of them. 'Maps' from 'Fever To Tell' is widely considered a modern classic and 'It's Blitz!' has more than its fair share of follow up contenders. 'Runaway' is the tale of losing a relationship to the age old problem of being in a touring rock'n'roll band, "I was feeling sad, Can't help looking back, Highways flew by, Run, run, run away" set to an understated musical backdrop. Meanwhile 'Hysteric' has the finger prints of producer Dave Sitek all over it with a huge reverb and compressed drum sound enveloping a gorgeous ballad that is in equal measures down beat and euphoric- it's possibly their best song yet.

'It's Blitz' is another fine effort from perhaps the only band to emerge in the early part of this decade who have remained consistently brilliant. There are moments here that could see the New York trio explode into public consciousness juxtaposed with enough sonic experimentation to keep die-hard fans pleased. Whichever way you look at it the album is a bona-fide winner.


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