Sound: The New York City-based experimental rock trio, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs produce a mating of Bjork's avant ice-caps with the disco glitter of Lady Ga Ga on the band's latest CD, It's Blitz from DGC/Interscope records. Produced by Nick Launay and TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs show no apprehension about plunging into canyons of esoteric lava and cutting-edge techno-pop. The trio of vocalist Karen O, guitarist/keyboardist Nick Zinner, and drummer Brian Chase are accompanied by a handful of extras on the recording including saxophonist Stuart Bogie and trumpeter Eric Biondo on the electronica-wedged bindings of Zero and the flowery atmospherics of Hysteric, cellist Jane Scarpantoni and pianist Greg Kurstin on the trains of ebullient techno trimmings along Runaway, guitarist Imaad Wasif on the ambient knots bulking and receding along Little Shadow, and TV On The Radio's vocalist Tunde Adebimpe, tambourine player Kys Malone and Bogie once again on the vibrant psychedelic pixels that flutter through Dragon Queen.
The album has an overall club music feel with rivers of glittery synths, wavy movements, and glossy guitar effects like in Heads Will Roll and Soft Shock. The synth-whipped magnetic fields that cluster along Skeletons are starched with sharp, staccato beats creating a whirlpool of ambient art-pop waves and ethereal fumes. The synth-pop wiring of Dull Life is looped in punk rock beats as Karen O's vocals knead into the granite-hard grooves. The band's handling of punk encrusted tunage matches that of The Sex Pistol, like they were made from the same cloth. The bluesy swagger of Shame And Fortune is seamed in rumbling beats, quaking guitar vibrations, and blustery synths. The music isn't super polished but neither is it raw. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs fit somewhere in between the two with the substance of The Sex Pistols and the discothque vibes of Lady Ga Ga. // 7
Lyrics: The lyrics emote a sense of neediness and desires that are yearning to be satisfied. The lyrical themes center around reaching out for something in the distance like in Runaway with Karen O intoning, Like you to stay / Want you to be my prize. And sometimes the words express satisfaction like in Hysteric as she beams, You suddenly complete me. Karen's vocals alternate between sounding ghostly and digging into the rhythmic grooves like a crunching mallet. The words are tertiary to the music, which is made to open up club music to the realm of the esoteric and avant garde. // 7
Overall Impression: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs seem to be on a never-ending quest to find new ways to experiment with guitar-synth combinations. They move through a gamut of textures from punk rock to ethereal-pop formats drizzled with club beats. Their album takes elements that are a significant part of pop culture and puts their own crest on it. The band can produce drama in their music as assuredly as they do campy-disco, making both a part of the band's musical arsenal without showing any inconsistencies or fakeness about it. // 7