Everett True

A review of ‘Mosquito’, the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album, based only on the press release

A review of ‘Mosquito’, the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album, based only on the press release
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This is a not a review of the new album by Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Their Australian press agents Mad Dog Publicity do not consider Collapse Board important or influential or trustworthy enough a site to be sent a copy, or a download, or even a stream of the forthcoming Yeah Yeah Yeahs album. Instead we’ve been directed to the triple j website to listen to a stream, because – um… wait a second, isn’t that rather rude? Like telling us how crap and unimportant we are, and we should just shut the fuck up and be grateful for even this smallest of small tidbits. (Rather pointless too, bearing in mind that MP3s are – literally – worthless. Just ask Bruce Willis. Or rather, don’t.)

Well, fuck ’em. That’s what we say here at Collapse Board. If Mad Dog Publicity do not consider this website to be important or influential or trustworthy enough to be sent a copy of the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album then we’ll review the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album on what we have been sent. That’s right. The press release, and the album sleeve.

And there’s a special prize for the first reader who spots the following words rehashed online at a ‘proper’ news or music site.

Their new album Mosquito is out Friday 12 th April on Modular Recordings, but you can hear it first right now via triple j.

Mosquito features ten songs, produced by Nick Launay and Dave Sitek, with James Murphy and Sam Spiegel production on one track.
All eleven are mixed by Craig Silvey, and the bulk of it was recorded at Sonic Ranch in Tornilla, Texas, with Dr. Octagon ( Kool Keith) appearing on one very special track.
The deluxe album also includes 4 additional acoustic/demo tracks.

“We would love for this music to make our fans feeeeel something, for it to stir some shit up inside of them, whatever that may be,” says singer Karen O.
“SO much feeling went into this record, it was the rope ladder thrown down into the ditch for us to climb up and dust ourselves off. I hope others can climb up it too;
we’re excited to share the good vibes.”

Mosquito track listing:
1. Sacrilege
2. Subway
3. Mosquito
4. Under The Earth
5. Slave
6. These Paths
7. Area 52
8. Buried Alive (Featuring Dr. Octagon)
9. Always
10. Despair
11. Wedding Song
Yeah Yeah Yeahs Mosquito CD, Digital, Vinyl album out Friday 12 th April


OK. First up. That opening sentence.

I really do NOT think Collapse Board will be hearing it “first right now via triple j”. For one, we don’t hold much truck in supporting a website that uses Government dollars to champion the most ordinary of Australian music, music that is specifically designed to be played on triple j. For two, we suspect that maybe a few thousand – or ten thousand – other people have already heard it “first right now” on triple j even we did hold any truck in doing the above-mentioned. Also, reliable sources inform us that Mosquito has been available as illegal download in all the usual places for several days now, which means not even the most dedicated of triple j aficionados will have heard it “first right now”… although of course we actually disapprove of such places even more than we disapprove of triple j as their users are leeching the blood out of the music industry even faster than the music industry itself, which is saying quite something.

Those production credits are fascinating, but they don’t give you much sense of the music, do they? It’s a shame we don’t have folk around in Australia who might be able to do that – let’s call them music critics, for want of a better phrase. Of course they’d also need to have some sort of ready access to the music… crazy notion, you say? You’re probably right.

Nice to know there’s a deluxe album but it might as well be a complete fucking Smithsonian Library of Recorded Yeah Yeah Yeahs Burps for all it matters to us, as we sure as shit ain’t going to be hearing it any time soon. (Yes, we could buy it. Yep. So could the PRs, and the managers, and the promoters, and everyone else who works within the music industry.)

That quote from Karen O ain’t up to much is it? Bland as a bland mousse with bland sprinkles on top, eaten in Manhattan with a bland set of bland bald Republicans for company.

Especially when you consider former quotes like:

“Basically, we trashed that room. We got bored because we were in there for hours. Clinic’s room was next door. It had like a table with all their equipment on it. I peeped in to see if they were hanging out in there and no one was. That really pissed me off. So I motioned to my girls like, ‘Girls, come on – Clinic’s not in here.’ So we ran into the room and the next thing I know my friend is tearing records off the wall and breaking them on her knee. So I start to do it. Then I spy the Clinic masks and there’s, like, three boxes of them. We grabbed them and walked into the hall, stuffing them under our shirts so no one sees us, into the room we’d already trashed, stuffing them under sofa cushions. That’s when we were asked to leave.”

Hmm. Maybe they should hire an expert?

The cover. Yeah, the cover’s groovy. Obvious shades of Nirvana – the title itself, the naked mewling baby – and beautiful use of colour, recalling some of the glory days of 80s U.S. underground comics (c.f. Richard Corben). Plus, the band name lettering, oozing pus and gore, seems to be in tribute to The Cramps, I’d say. The mosquito itself is fuzzy, mean, aggressive: I think we can expect a lot of high spirits and lean instrumentation on the album itself, maybe a slight return to some of the band’s No Wave roots. The baby looks a bit like a doll Troll. Good. Vivid splash of red. Good to have a vivid splash of red. Some green goo in a jar… could this be a signifier for the overall sound of Yeah Yeah Yeahs in 2013? Let’s hope so.


3 Responses to A review of ‘Mosquito’, the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album, based only on the press release

  1. Harvey Manfrenjensenden April 4, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    What I read from the cover was a cribbing of Garbage Pail Kids and Ugly Kid Joe more than anything else. Definitely an intentional nod to those of us born after 1973 but before 1990. Also, Primus. Canny as shit.

  2. Everett True April 4, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    From Facebook

    Apollo Liftoff
    well I guess it sucks to be considered a little less important than you would like.

    Craig Barman
    You were important enough to send the media release.

    Chris Razz
    this may be my favorite review of the century…

    John Willsteed
    i think you would serve the community of folk quite well to simply review press releases. i, for one, would laud this.

    Everett True
    here you go John. http://www.collapseboard.com/everett-true/how-not-to-write-a-press-release/

    Sean Adams
    Ha. I was only sent a copy on 5th request because they were streaming it on Noisey last night. Today I was sent an album that is out on Monday, but a band I interviewed about the record (without hearing more than 4 songs on an iPod shuffle, 15mins before the interview) at the start of January. Pre-release criticism is dead? And who wants to read about a record they can already listen to? I’d call it a conspiracy if these people – getting paid 100% more than the people writing about their released – had half a clue what they were doing 99.5% of the time.

    Don Smith
    Here’s the thing… Why is pre-release journalism useful in the era of YouTube? 15 years ago I refused to write any more record reviews because the concept was dead then. Dead. So who is doing it now, 15 yrs later? We all know it doesn’t fit the culture anymore. Just do band interviews / profiles and tour previews… Otherwise it’s like readers digest- something that makes sense only to oldsters. Of people don’t want to read something after they can listen to the lp stream that’s a huuuuge hint

    Sean Adams
    Don, I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not. So far today over 20,000 people have read reviews on Drowned in Sound of records which are streaming online. Sure, compared with YouTube views of the Beyonce pepsi commercial, that isn’t a huge number, but when most of the records we review sell only a few thousand copies worldwide, then criticism plays a huge part in things. I have no idea what YYYs sell worldwide, but they’ve built their reputation on the back of journalists raving about them in live reviews, record reviews, cover features and end of year lists. They’re not U2 or The Rolling Stones or even a stadium-touring band like Paramore or My Chemical Romance. They don’t get as many YouTube views as Gotye. You’d think keeping the people who celebrated them and put them where they are today sweet would be important. It seems their label are more interested in impressing the work experience kid at Vice/Noisey.

  3. katie April 5, 2013 at 5:56 am

    more reviews of press releases, please

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