Despite having the most ridiculous insect-themed artwork this side of The Offspring's Americana, Karen O & Co. succeeded in whipping up fans and critics alike when whiffs of new material began to pollute the blogosphere and forums. The arty post-punks have always been pundit-darlings, from their seminal Fever To Tell to the stadium indie-rock of It's Blitz! – and when 'Sacrilege' graced our ears for the first time, it became abundantly clear we were in for something special. With gospel backing and O's Regan-level possession, it's one of the chunkiest anthems we've had from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and it's got a raunchy video to boot. The gaping maw of the internet awaits Mosquito with bated breath, and given the preluding profferings, it's unlikely the trio can disappoint. Right?

'Sacrilege' opens the record, swiftly followed by the haunting clatter of 'Subway', a track full of locomotive rhythms and ethereal bastions of emotion. It's ephemeral, a wisp of a ghost. The threesome have always been spectacular creators of the riveting chorus – think of 'Heads Will Roll' and 'Maps' – and that is no different here, with Nick Zinner underpinning every strain of O's fabulous vocal prowess with a sublime razor-sharp rock riff. 'Area 52' is chaotic sci-fi rock, tinted with glam and 80s power-metal; it's bolshy, it throws its weight around like the campy garage rock it is.

'Under The Earth' reveals a proto-country vibe, like a lolloping 'Rawhide', with synth-vox and galloping drums. The guiro-quiver keys inject a semi-Latin feel – at times there are sounds that indicate the band are careening towards Mexigoth or some kind of mutant Mariachi; their brand of rock feels inspired by the wild west and dusty deserts of the South East USA. 'Mosquito' echoes that motion, and Zinner's grinding licks meld with Samba-ish percussion. The lyrics here are a tad trite, and O's hammering of the mosquito metaphor is draining rather than inspiring. Great energy to the track though – it will be a riot live. Like a decent portion of the album, it's a probably a grower not a shower.

Featuring production from James Murphy and a guest rap from Kool Keith/Dr. Octagon, 'Buried Alive' indicts your attention with wailing axes and skittish percussion. O's lethargic drawl is eviscerated, smooshed through peyote filters and dislocated from the music, and then, as if NYC's favourite art-punks had suddenly transformed into Linkin Park, the nu-metal rap ambushes you. It's difficult to tell if it's a glorious subversion by the conniving sonsabitches or just a plain misstep. 'Always' is elevator music – semi-tropical loungey, vaguely jazzy noises held together by languid synths and languishing guitars. Not their finest moment, but the momentum picks up for the emotional climax – 'Wedding Song' is a dub-lined ballad with heartache piano, O's voice is sullen and inspires sobbing. It's a slow-burning cut that is one of the few moments that does reference It's Blitz!.

Mosquito is punky, lo-fi and more rock than electronica, though it has its moments, like in 'These Paths' or 'Subway', which is where the album really shines. When they hark back to dingy dives, it falters, but when they embrace the synthesizer, the LP is astounding. At times they're back to their roots, with a few twists – they're goofier – and surprisingly, it's not what we really needed from their fourth record. For all the hyping that O did before its release about their development and lack of desire to revisit old sounds, there's little progression from what they've made before, and it lacks immediacy ('Sacrilege' is the boldest cut available). Perhaps it will take a few weeks and many more listens to evolve and develop. With every listen, you pray they reach the Everestine standards they set themselves. Fingers crossed that after a few weeks and many more listens, they do.