New York City’s finest art-punks return with a pop
“It’s extremely lo-fi,” flamboyant singer Karen O recently said of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ imminent fourth album, ‘Mosquito’. So you might expect the first single taken from it to be reminiscent of their tinny, chaotic beginnings, especially as she’s made a big deal about the “shitty drum machine” and “shitty sampled keyboard” they used to make it. Turns out that what ‘Sacrilege’ actually sounds like is a massive surprise. It’s not lo-fi, but it’s not a completely new-look version of the band either. There’s still Karen’s trademark yelp as she exclaims “In our bed!” before every chorus, and Nick Zinner is back working his incredible guitar wizardry, letting improvised-sounding riffs twist and turn under his leader’s polished sighs about “falling for a guy” with a “halo round his head”. It’s stripped back, sure, but only in the sense that a lot of what’s happening in the track feels a lot more subtle than you’d expect. So far, so Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And then the gospel choir hits, backing up Ms O’s demure cries. It takes the band to their most spiritual and unexpected climax ever. Forget what Karen’s saying about the album for now (bands love to have a laugh), this track is New York City’s finest art-punks returning with a pop. And boy, is it good.