!!! – [Album]

Saturday, 27 April 2013

The concept of “dance-punk" has always been a bit difficult for some punks to grasp/swallow. Some readers may scoff and say that's because those punks simply can't dance (this is possible), but think about it: one of the key elements of punk has always been its urgency. The urgency of punk has always been so potent that it has tended to override any movement as organized as the average dance step, hasn't it? That's why pogo-ing and moshing exist; neither is organized movement, but they are urgent and aggressive in keeping with the spirit of the music – and it does move.For some punks, such has made the most sense but it is also why some shows by bands like Gossip, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Rapture and Death From Above 1979 have seemed awkward; the idea of trying to do something graceful to caustic sounds just seems… contrary. After seventeen years of trying though, !!! has found a mix of music which could easily be danceable while also sounding like it owes a developmental debt to post-punk, It's really exciting to hear how it plays out too; maybe that's why they called it THR!!!ER.

There's no question that THR!!!ER has a significant bent toward strains of new wave, Brit-Pop and dance-punk as vintage bits of each seem to crop up throughout the running of each song on the album, but the album simultaneously exudes a defiant, snotty spirit which is unmistakably “punk.” That snot most regularly appears smeared across the vocals of songs like “Get That Rhythm Right” (when Nic Offer growls “Who's asking?” some punks will feel their fists raising up on the strength of reflex), “”Slyd” (check out lines like “Slide, slide, slide, you like it inside” and “I don't really like you bu I like you on the inside”) and “Californyeah” (“You're always looking for something you'll never find” sounds like a both a kiss-off and a battle cry all at the same time), but the incredible thing about how each of those songs comes together is that every instrument and vocal part ends up getting tainted by the idea that the band has only lightened up to play each song begrudgingly for their own audience (if ever the words “you'll dance to anything” have sounded so appropriate since The Dead Milkmen first uttered them twenty-six years ago, it's as one listens to this album), and each performance is really just another enactment of malicious mockery personified. One might think that such a constantly dismissive display would be off-putting, but it ends up being really captivating; the way they do it, !!! make every song on THR!!!ER both engrossing and subversive. If you hear THR!!!ER, expect to be compelled to listen to the album repeatedly; this kind of rancor is addictive.


!!! – THR!!!ER – “Slyd” – [mp3]


will be released on April 30, 2013 by Warp Records. Pre-order it here on Amazon .

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