January 14, 2013 2:34pm PT by Steve Baltin
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs Debut New Music at Club Show, Announce 'Mosquito' Album
Before the Yeah Yeah Yeahs announced their new album, Mosquito (due April 16), the New York-based trio gave 800 lucky fans a preview.
Held Friday at Pomona, California's Glass House, the warm-up show for their Down Under tour showcased new material from the start, opening with the dance-infused title track, for which frontwoman Karen O emerged in a leopard-print cape and snarled, “I’ll suck your blood.”
It was one of three tracks from the forthcoming album, which features production by TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek and Nick Launay, as well as one track by James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem fame). Among other as-yet-unnamed songs was a mesmerizing trip-hop flavored tune that Karen O delivered while adorning her head in a miner’s flashlight as she moved rhythmically to the slow beat.
It's been four years since YYY's last album, during which the band members each pursued individual projects -- guitarist Nick Zinner curated and composed an orchestral work called "41 Songs" and Karen O stepped into film, writing songs for 2009's Where the Wild Things Are and Frankenweenie and working with the likes of Trent Reznor and David Lynch. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs clearly had an abundance of energy and showmanship to bring to the stage, none more so than the dynamic lead vocalist.
Arms outstretched in a classic rock star pose before jumping in to the raucous “Heads Will Roll” -- which was augmented by confetti -- Karen danced practically non-stop throughout the 70-minute set. Even more impressive: She held a shoe, presumably from one of the crowd-surfing moshers in front of the stage, who treated the show like it was a Metallica or Circle Jerks gig circa the early 1980s.
The band fed into the crowd’s fervor with the punk abandon on “Pin” and the upbeat vibe of “Soft Shock,” but they were equally at home on another gorgeous new track, which started off as a lullaby.
Speaking of Mosquito's songwriting in a press release, Karen O said, “We took a more playful, lo-fi approach. ... Much of the music was demoed in our little basement studio in Manhattan with drum machines, a shitty sample keyboard and tons of delay -- which we called the soup.”
She added: “I think this record has more moodier and tripped-out songs than you've ever heard from us. You might catch some roots reggae and minimalist psychedelia influences in there.”
While the roots reggae and psychedelia weren’t evident in the new tracks they played, the lo-fi songwriting very much was. To wit: the simplicity and beauty of the two new songs played in addition to the opening “Mosquito.”
Clearly elated to have the band back for the start of what's expected to be a huge year (including a rumored Coachella appearance), fans, some of whom started lining up at 7 a.m., treated the new material as if they were staples of L.A. radio station KROQ. So, as one can only imagine, the Glass House literally shook with joy as diehards both upstairs and downstairs bounced feverishly to hit songs like “Zero.”
At show's end, the capacity crowd chanted, “Yeah Yeah Yeahs” repeatedly, prompting the the band to return for encores “Maps” and “Tick.” That was when Karen O informed the crowd, “We’re back, man. We’re back.”
Oh, yeah, they are.