splash-12Growing up in northern BC, I was not presented with many opportunities to be exposed to different genres of music. If it wasn’t one of those Theoryofagenaricnicklecrap type bands, a group that had giant hair and wore tights in the 80’s, an artist that got shot 29 times, or a hillbilly fresh out of the trailer park singing about his love of fishing, divorce and/or beer, chances were that  it wasn’t played on our local radio station. I would occasionally tune into “The Wedge” but often missed it due to its time slot. Also, seeing how my hometown was one of the last places on earth to get DSL, scouring the inter-web for new music was really not a practical option.

After graduation, I started to make more of an effort to discover music. A friend handed me a copy of “Fever to Tell” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and it was instant love. Nick Zinner’s unique guitar sounds, the fact that Karen O is pretty much the definition of rock and roll, and that “Maps” is a song that still constantly breaks my heart, put this album into heavy rotation and placed the band in my personal top ten.

Due to everything listed above, you can imagine how excited I was to learn that the band would be releasing their third LP early  in 2009. It’s been far too long to not have new music from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Sure, there was the Is Is EP and side projects, and while they were all good in their own right, it was really just a tease. The year started

"It's Blitz" Album art

"It's Blitz" Album art

strong. First was the release of the album title, “It’s Blitz”, which is pretty bad-ass. Then there were the promo pics, which showed the band looking as stylish as ever, followed by all the press. As I was shopping for groceries, I noticed that the band graced the cover of the new Spin magazine, which was promptly added to my basket. After reading the article, my anticipation shifted to concern. The album is described as  “a dance-rock gem,” “a decidedly drastic shift in musical direction…” and is compared sonically by the band members to acts such as “Donna Summer and MGMT.” This is not something you want to read about one of your favorite “rock” acts.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for bands evolving. I even feel it’s necessary to achieve longevity. I just feel there is a big difference in a sonic evolution and a complete musical makeover. Bjork is a perfect example of this. While every Bjork album has it’s own emotion and unique  production style, it is still a Bjork album. You know what to expect while still being pleasantly surprised. My fear with this album is that the change will be far too drastic. I like my bands for a reason, and with the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s it’s not to have a dance party! That is why I listen to Hot Chip.

While it may seem like I am over reacting, I have done a bit of research to back-up my concerns. I recently acquired the new single “Zero,” which has become an active part of my gym playlist. It may have taken a few listens, but I do enjoy the track, specifically Karen’s vocal. The problem is that when it comes on my Ipod, while I may be dancing and singing along,  I often don’t realize who I am listening to until some thought is put into it. With a band who has a place in your favorites, I feel this really shouldn’t be an issue.

The album is released digitally on Tuesday, and even with my concerns I will be purchasing it. I enjoy this band far too much to dismiss them solely on hype alone, and who knows, I may even be pleasantly surprised. Maybe this will even be a very natural progression and become the album of my summer. Expect a follow up post after listening to the disc. I guess if it doesn’t work out I could always start listening to Sleater Kinney for my aggressive chick-based rock. Seeing how that  band has broke-up, at least there is no chance of me posting a similar rant in the future.