x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: It's Blitz

Three years on from their last release, Karen O and friends have returned in hope of reclaiming the title of "New York's coolest band".

AD200910727379657AR
AD200910727379657AR

Three years on from their last release, Karen O and friends have returned in hope of reclaiming the title of "New York's coolest band". If they succeed, the victory will not have been won in rock clubs, but on dance floors. In the time between this album and the muted reception that greeted 2006's Show Your Bones, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have almost completely ditched their crushing guitars in favour of hedonistic synths and pounding disco rhythms. The first track, Zero, in which O orders the listener to "get your leather on" over a growling electronic riff, makes for a powerful opener. At first the follow-up, Heads Will Roll, seems to revisit old territory with Nick Zinner's unmistakable guitar work at centre stage, but it's not long before a huge fuzzy synth line takes over. A highlight is Shame and Fortune, where Zinner once again shines. However there are moments when things begin to feel slightly generic and the new sound fails to achieve anything beyond harking back to the worn-out electroclash fad of a few years ago. But what this album does effectively is remind us what the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are capable of as a band. Particular praise should go to the drummer Brian Chase, who holds these songs together. It's Blitz's greatest success, however, is reclaiming the energy of the band's debut. Unlike the more reflective sophomore release, this is a record full of atmosphere, aided by the infectious yelps and sparkling attitude that made so many people fall in love with O and co in the first place.