Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito

Applying fashion to pop-punk again

With a sleeve so shocking
it looks like it could be
a homage to Blink-182,
Mosquito is clearly the work
of a band who could never be
accused of overt seriousness.
But it also betrays a punkish
ethic – and is as good
a summation of the NYC trio
as any of their songs.

Their fourth album,
Mosquito never once pushes
the envelope as much as
it does on lead single
Sacrilege; just when you
think they’ve taken their
climactic, juddering emotions
as far as possible, they go
and add a full gospel choir.
Elsewhere, other sonic tools
are employed, as Karen O
breathes and screeches over
minimal digital rhythms
(Slave), a touch of cleverly
deployed world music (Under
The Earth) and disco (These
Paths). The only wrong turn
comes, surprisingly, from
LCD Soundsystem’s James
Murphy, who produces
Buried Alive, with its guest
slot from rapper Kool Keith’s
long-retired Dr Octagon
alias. Despite such potential,
the result sounds like mid-
90s rock-rap.

There are typically YYY-sounding
songs: Despair is
the one people will call the
“new Maps”, while the title
track and Area 52 provide the
short sharp shock in line with
much of their earliest material.
Ultimately, Mosquito sees the
band reenergised, trying new
things and, generally,
succeeding.  

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

Polydor | tbc (CD / LP)

Reviewed by Jake Kennedy
<< Back to Issue 414

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