Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Yeah Yeah YeahsStubb's, March 13
New York trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs wrote fourth LP Mosquito in New Orleans, stewing in Big Easy gris-gris. Karen O thus took the stage on Wednesday night in what appeared to be her version of a second-line costume – an overcoat of sequins and streamers – for a first glimpse of the new album. To be clear, there's no disputing Yeah Yeah Yeahs' headliner status: Karen O demands the spotlight, stalking the stage with riot grrrl tenacity and rare theatricality, while marionette guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase offer a lightning rod of intensity. Bolstered by multi-instrumentalist David Pajo of Slint, the quartet mowed through hits ("Maps," "Gold Lion"), and ecstatic closer "Heads Will Roll" went off the way you'd expect at a packed Stubb's. The new material, however, lacked clear vision. Darker, moodier, with industrial grind, it continues the chromatic dance-floor makeover of 2009's It's Blitz! "Under the Earth" proved more mood than movement, while the gospel swell of "Sacrilege" evoked Lady Gaga rather than Madonna. It's as if Karen O threw everything against the wall, saw what stuck, and fashioned an outfit out of everything else.