Yeah Yeah Yeahs make you wanna shimmy

The band’s latest LP, “It’s Blitz!,” was crafted for the dance floor.

PHOTO COURTESY INTERSCOPE RECORDS

Ashley Goetz

PHOTO COURTESY INTERSCOPE RECORDS

ARTIST: Yeah Yeah Yeahs ALBUM: âÄúItâÄôs Blitz!âÄù LABEL: Interscope Available digitally The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have a very distinct sound: the screech-yowl of their red-lipsticked, ultra-hip frontwoman Karen O, the scorching frenetic guitars courtesy of Nick Zinner spiraling over the thrumming telltale heart drums of Brian Chase . ItâÄôs a punky, jangly noise theyâÄôve honed since the release of their first self-titled EP in 2001 and perfected with each subsequent album. Perhaps itâÄôs the exclamation point included in the title, but âÄúItâÄôs Blitz!âÄù veers in a slightly different direction. This time, the band has crafted a disco-influenced, synthesizer-packed version of the YYYâÄôs patented piercing sound thatâÄôs as danceable as it is cool. In an interview with Spin magazine, the oft leather-clad Karen O cited the bandâÄôs inspirations for âÄúBlitzâÄù as Donna Summer, Joy Division and her very own enthusiasm for dance . Another departure for the band is ZinnerâÄôs lack of signature guitar. HeâÄôs been ordered by Karen O to work it out on the synthesizer. ThereâÄôs no dorky Van Halen synth on âÄúItâÄôs Blitz!âÄù though; this is pure, unadulterated Yeah Yeah Yeahs. âÄúItâÄôs Blitz!âÄù wasnâÄôt scheduled for release until April 13, but because of ridiculously early Internet leakage, the YYYs and their record company were forced to move the digital release date. âÄúItâÄôs Blitz!âÄù is the YYYâÄôs first full-length album (they released EP âÄúIs IsâÄù in 2007) since âÄúShow Your BonesâÄù in 2006. The 10-track âÄúItâÄôs Blitz!âÄù is a softer record than the YYYâÄôs classic fan favorite and critical touchstone âÄúFever to Tell,âÄù with more songs resembling their biggest hit, the sparse, heartbreaking âÄúMapsâÄù and far less screechy, eardrum-assaulting art-rock. âÄúItâÄôs Blitz!âÄù retains the YYYâÄôs general sound and aesthetic. ItâÄôd never be a record mistaken for any other band, but theyâÄôve tweaked the formula enough here to keep the listener interested. âÄúDragon QueenâÄù pulls in guest stars from YYY pals TV On The Radio, with Tunde Adebimpe accompanying Karen O vocally and Kyp Malone manning the tambourine to the beat of a groove-thing-shaking funk riff, while the love song âÄúHystericâÄù shimmers like The Cure. âÄúSoft ShockâÄù is another âÄô80s-influenced cut. âÄúDull LifeâÄù is one of the only tracks on âÄúItâÄôs Blitz!âÄù that sounds typically Yeah Yeah Yeahs, as does âÄúShame and Glamour,âÄù with driving synth-posing-as-guitar (youâÄôd never know Zinner wasnâÄôt shredding guitar strings) and madcap drumming from Nick Chase. Karen O is a master of vocal manipulation; she can coo sweetly and within the same instant escalate that lovely sound into a high-voltage, full-throttle yowl that manages, inexplicably, to stay pretty. She yips and yelps, she gasps, she beckons and she toys with dynamics, kind of like a freaky-sexy alien with Mariah CareyâÄôs vocal capabilities. Her voice floats ethereally over the five-minute âÄúSkeletons,âÄù which would be the perfect lullaby for a punk-rock baby, what with its lush instrumentation and Karen OâÄôs wafting vocals. âÄúItâÄôs Blitz!âÄù is fun, pure and simple. It harkens back to the good old days of âÄô70s Blondie , a punk band with a sexy front woman to shimmy along with.