Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs): Last Tuesday, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs posted new single "Zero" to their blog and MySpace page. It's a preview of the trio's upcoming LP It's Blitz!, scheduled for U.S. release April 14. If the tune and wacked-out album art are any indication, the record will be a departure.
On "Zero", leading lady Karen O offers no screams; barely a squeal emanates from what used to be powerful singing chops. Behind her thump danceable, electronic beats not unlike territory already covered by The Sounds and - dare we say it? - Shiny Toy Guns. It sounds as though the YYYs have traded their original garage-band aesthetic for one that is more GarageBand - as in, the Apple software.
Brody Dalle (Spinnerette): On Valentine's Day, Dalle's Spinnerette spread the love with "Sex Bomb," from the band's much-anticipated debut LP. For fans of her defunct Distillers, the forthcoming album is long overdue, as the last full-length record with Dalle at the helm was 2003's Coral Fang. Like Karen O, Dalle has drastically reduced the strain on her vocal chords by singing almost sweetly rather than snarling like a congested banshee. It's kind of a shame.
However, those who lust over Dalle's tattooed bod should be pleased by the "Sex Bomb" lyrics: "I want your sweaty fingers up inside my tights/ Be my daddy please."
Lisa Rieffel (Killola): Last Friday, Los Angeles up-and-comers Killola announced they will open for the New York Dolls at SXSW on March 20 - not too shabby an accomplishment for a band that's gained momentum mostly through online world-of-mouth. If you missed the band in January at Chance's, you'll have a second opportunity to catch them in Austin. Singer Lisa Rieffel is one screamin' lady who's not afraid to tear it up onstage.
Unlike Dalle and O, her delivery is still as raw as steak tartare. Here's hoping she carries the torch of vocal torture with more endurance than her predecessors.