Powered by Google
Editors' Picks
Arts + Books
Rec Room
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Adult Personals
Adult Classifieds
- - - - - - - - - - - -
FNX Radio
Band Guide
MassWeb Printing
- - - - - - - - - - - -
About Us
Contact Us
Advertise With Us
Work For Us
RSS Feeds
- - - - - - - - - - - -

sponsored links
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sex Toys - Adult  DVDs - Sexy  Lingerie

  E-Mail This Article to a Friend

(Touch and Go)
Stars graphics

On last year’s breakthrough single "Me and Giuliani Down by the Schoolyard," the seven-piece collective !!! (pronounced "Chick, Chick, Chick") broke the DFA’s stranglehold on NYC indie-kid dance music with a jubilant nine-minute protest jam that paraded from chatty, township Afro-funk to urban-jungle post-punk. Nothing else on the group’s second full-length, Louden Up Now, quite matches it, but the disc establishes !!! as adventurous cartographers of the agitprop groove, chasing elusive tributaries deep into uncharted territory. When on "Dear Can" frontman Nic Offer hisses "Burn the maps, burn the maps," you can hear it as the voice of a band who’ve located their heart of darkness and don’t want to find their way back.

Eventually, of course, they do. "Hello, Is This Thing On?" revisits the spirit of the group’s homonymous debut, with Offer’s gravel-graded rant and the band’s chattering Afrobeat guitar and horn licks pointing to the common ground between Clash-era punk and Afrobeat’s protest funk. But this time, programmed snares crunch like collapsing buildings, and a neat Neptunes-ian acoustic-guitar lick hints at a new-found love of modern R&B’s crisp production values. On the album’s centerpiece, the three-part epic "Shit Scheisse Merde," Offer unveils a Prince-ly falsetto before resorting to a conspiratorial whisper: "What did George Bush say when he met Tony Blair? He said, ‘You act like you care, I act like I care, we both stay rich — stay rich as shit, scheisse, merde.’ "

Louden Up Now was assembled, on computers, by various band members, and occasionally its layered fragments add up to less than the sum of its parts. On the opening "(When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Gets) Karazee," they borrow the rubbery, plunging bass lick from Yello’s "Oh Yeah" and a cadence from Grandmaster Flash’s "White Lines," but the song’s electro-soca block party stalls before Offer declares, "You could learn a lot from taking your pants off." Still, you’d be hard pressed to find a better dogmatic dance-punk anthem than "Pardon My Freedom," where brontosauran bass throb and stuttering hi-hat clatter repeatedly build to ecstatic heights, a siren-like guitar scream cuts through an acid-house haze, and Offer puts his politics on the line: "U can tell the president 2 suck my fucking dick."

(!!! perform this Wednesday, June 16, downstairs at the Middle East, 480 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square; call 617-864-EAST.)


Issue Date: June 11 - 17, 2004
Back to the Music table of contents
  E-Mail This Article to a Friend

about the phoenix |  advertising info |  Webmaster |  work for us
Copyright © 2005 Phoenix Media/Communications Group