The latest release from the trashy punk band you want to have sex
with is (watch out, this is gonna blow your mind) incredible.
[Throat clearing] Let me apologize for telling you something
you've already come to expect. The NYC trio hasn't given us much yet
(they've previously released a self-titled EP) but no matter
that's all we needed to be convinced of their awesome power to make
the rest of the music world look like weak, mediocre pieces of shit.
The new release a three-song single, two new, one a remix
is just more proof. Let's face it, no one else today is making
music as cool and original as that of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Sex goddess, er, I mean lead singer Karen O wraps you around her
delicate little porcelain finger the first chance she gets. The
record opens with an especially crackly lo-fi recording of her
so-soft-she-might-fall-apart-any-second speak-sing-moaning. It's
rough, it's desperate, it's passionate and it's very, very sexy. And
the hottest part is, she has NO idea. I interviewed the band not long
ago piece-of-shit tape recorder broke but from what I
remember, O told me she couldn't understand why critics were calling
her or the band's music sexy. Well, that just figures. People like O
effortlessly radiating sexual energy and magnetism
typically have no clue they're doing such. These people (who, I must
add, I despise) have beakers inside their body mixing up just the
right combination of DNA, biological dispositions, environmental
factors and psychological perceptions to come up with a sexual aura
that dispenses itself with the power of a skunk spraying out stench.
This only comes from within. You either got it or you don't. Sorry O,
like it or not, you done got it.
I do believe, however, that being sexy is not her intention. In fact,
she may not appreciate the use of the word "sexy" as an adjective for
describing the Yeahs' sound. It's true, there are so many others
(raw, punk, arty, jagged, gritty, etc.) that could rightfully be
used. But the power of O's sexual energy is undeniable here, though I
don't mean to put her beneath the spotlight, and I don't believe she
could do it alone. Guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase
bring equal amounts of raw energy, originality and might, and anyway,
I've always believed, as far as bands are concerned, the whole is
greater than the sum of its parts. So maybe that sexual power would
be absent without the coming together of these three.
Let's get back to this sexed-up single. So after our sweet, sweet,
sultry intro by Miss O comes the rest of "Machine," a rumbling, thunderous
anything-for-the-sake-of-love number. It feels driven by the heart as
it professes, begs, pants and grunts. Still, the guitar's punk
thrashing and drum's ominous pounding offset the potential for too
much lovey-dovey mush. O's cracking, low vocals manage to hold power
even while pleading. "And I walk and I walk/ The space left for two/
And I wait and I wait/ To wake next to you," O wails passionately.
"Machine, machine/ I wasted it for you/ Machine, machine/ I washed it
With heavy distortion set to O's quivering vocals, "Graveyard" roars
with energy, speed, an infectious beat and the roughed-up, stop-start
grittiness that's come to be expected from the group. Closing the
record is a remix of "Pin," a much-welcomed staple of the Yeahs' live
set. It's drowned in electronic affects and trippy echoes, so it's
difficult to find that catchy melody so many have grabbed onto and
shaken their butts with during live shows. Still, it's a flowing,
So far, the Yeahs have given us only a taste of what they're capable
of, but it's been a taste so rich, so succulent, it's enough to leave
us easy listeners turning into putty in the palm of O's hands,
wanting more, more, more.