Karen O is probably the most flamboyant spitter in rock historical past. When Yeah Yeah Yeahs first smashed into New York Metropolis’s music scene within the early 2000s, one of many singer’s signature onstage maneuvers had her downing a pint of beer solely to spray it again out in a tremendous mist, like a dragon marking its territory. This transfer, which was immortalized in a frantic blur on the quilt of the important oral historical past Meet Me within the Toilet, completely summed up the band’s playful and antagonistic anarchy. They went on to name their debut 2003 album Fever to Inform, matching the urgency of post-9/11 New York. “You by no means knew how lengthy something was going to final,” Karen as soon as mentioned of that period.
20 years later, Yeah Yeah Yeahs are nonetheless right here, and Karen continues to be spitting. On their first new tune since 2013’s profession low Mosquito, the trio is again in rarified kind. “Spitting Off the Fringe of the World” is a basic YYY energy ballad, the place Karen clears her throat and sheds a tear within the face of impending local weather collapse. It’s from their forthcoming fifth album, Cool It Down, which cribs its identify from a Velvet Underground monitor and means that our collective fever has gotten utterly uncontrolled. With longtime producer Dave Sitek behind the boards, “Spitting” is about off by the form of horizon-expanding synths you’d anticipate finding on an opus by M83 or Vangelis. Karen’s supply is painfully weak one second and strident the subsequent, pinging between existential hopelessness and mighty resistance. The tune’s titular chorus nails this inside battle—a small act of defiance hocked right into a bottomless abyss.
All of this—the nostalgia, the triumph, the eccentricity—turns into much more potent within the phantasmagoric video. It peaks with Karen standing atop a spiky, gas-guzzling, Mad Max-style limo as visitor star Fragrance Genius, replete in undead make-up that Beetlejuice would approve of, steers down the freeway. The clip ends with a divey YYY efficiency that harkens again to these bygone days of scuzz and saliva. When Karen tilts her head again to spray as soon as once more, the impact is highly effective sufficient to douse a wildfire.
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