Yeah Yeah Yeahs are not your typical rock band. Though they're mostly known for the alternative pop ballad "Maps," [watch the video through YouTube here] the band's nature leans more toward noisy garage rock; but that's all changed. The trio returns to the scene with It's Blitz and it's littered with killer bouts of electronica. Don't get misunderstand, this isn't Nine Inch Nails' industrial brand of electronica; the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' electronica could - but probably shouldn't - be likened to a modern version of the Eurythmics.
(Read more about the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and watch their new video, "Heads Will Roll," after the jump!)
All that made Yeah Yeah Yeahs great before is still there: unforgettable female lead vocals by Karen O., mind bending lyrics, brutal guitar riffs, hard-hitting drums and rockin' melodies that still manage to contain beauty. What's new are the heavy 808 beats and an incredible use of synthesizer that builds beautifully on 1980s new wave pop/rock. It really is blitz.
The track that stood out to me upon first listen of the album was not its first single, "Zero," but the bombastic "Heads Will Roll." This track epitomizes the band's shift to non-industrial electronica. I might have enjoyed "Heads" more because it's very catchy. And just a bit morbid - if anything, rock and roll knows how to handle the macabre well. Who doesn’t love a dance track that has “dance ’till you’re dead” as part of its chorus?
The song's ambiguous lyrics are probably linked to Lewis Carroll's Through The Looking Glass in some way. I read recently that the band was recording the album in border-town El Paso, Texas when the drug war in Mexico began picking up steam; maybe the song is about the violence in a place that was just a stone’s throw away. The mirror could symbolize the seamless divide between the two nations. Being from El Paso, I know that Ciudad Juarez is a hotbed for crime, and with it a heavy party/dance scene for the youth. In this interpretation, heads rolling on the floor are both a reference to the Red Queen's tyranny and an echo of the brutal decapitations of police by the cartels. It could also be about violence within/self loathing and how dance can relieve us of it. Whatever your interpretation, the track holds up as an astonishing piece of electro-rock that is very timely.
A fantastic music video has just been released for the track. I don’t know what I love more: Karen O’s ultra modern red queen dress, the beast's Michael Jackson style, the red confetti, or that final shot. This is one of the best music videos I've seen this year.
[Disclaimer: The video, despite being relatively tame, can strike fear into the hearts of youths. Be considerate when you watch it.]
Have a gander (via YouTube):
siulelbon is the music reviewing alter-ego of News-Telegram staff photographer Luis Noble. Come back for more musical musings with siulelbon or follow him on wordpress. Don't forget to share your thoughts on Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Heads Will Roll" in the comments below!
|< Prev||Next >|