Album Review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito

29 April 2013 | 2:19 pm | Bryget Chrisfield

Unlike the vampiric insect after which this set is named, you’ll welcome Mosquito into your home.

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Mosquito's artwork looks like a Year Eight emo kid's art assignment. There's also a lot going on in this album's opening track and lead single, Sacrilege, but it never overwhelms. Even when the arrangement ushers you into a gospel church while worship's in session, it's not overdone. But that's just how Yeah Yeah Yeahs roll: anything goes when their band name's attached. The slo'-mo', clickety clack train-track sample that underlies Subway has a somnambulant effect and Karen O (Orzolek)'s lyrics are often indecipherable – the sound of her voice is more important than her words if she chooses.   

Bongos in the title track prove irresistible and few could belt out “I'll sUCk your blOOd” with as much menace as Orzolek. She seriously is a fierce frontvixen in the same vein as Chrissie Amphlett (RIP). Brian Chase's drumming pummels throughout Slave, which opens with what sounds like a demented birdcall. Alien serenade song, Area 52, definitely has shades of Iggy Pop's I Wanna Be Your Dog and explores a refreshing take on alien abduction with Orzolek playing willing abductee. As malleable as Orzolek's voice is, when Dr Octagon's flava hits Buried Alive (the only track on this album for which James Murphy scores a co-production credit), it's a debilitating stroke of genius (“Doc Oc operate by the clock” – brilliant). Nick Zinner's screaming guitars could be fingernails scratching frantically inside coffins. Orzolek continues to topsy-turvy traditional ideas of pleasure/pain, desire/horror with a delivery that presents being buried alive as recreation.    

Unlike the vampiric insect after which this set is named, you'll welcome Mosquito into your home. David Sitek's production is sparkling clean as ever and you can't imagine Yeah Yeah Yeahs ever recording without him. Yeah Yeah Yeahs don't try to be cool, they just are.