Friday 3 May 2013

!!!'s Dance Is Slowing Down

From California comes the band with the somewhat strange name !!! (pronounced chk chk chk), who released a new album every three years since their debut in 2000. Their biggest success, both commercially and creatively, was achieved in 2007 with the highly praised Myth Takes. They combined their mix of punk, disco and funk into a delicious set of songs, that made it impossible to stand still. Now there's the release of their fifth album with a similar strange name THR!!!ER, referring to the Michael Jackson masterpiece.

!!! - THR!!!ER (Ronald Says 6 out of 10)

The raw punk part was even reduced more on this record. This was already the case on the not so well received predecessor Strange Weather, Isn't It? The production itself is fine. The tracks sound clear, where a lot of time was put into dressing up the songs. But they overdid that a bit too much. It feels as unnecessary pimping of the compositions who are full of claps, timbales, shakers and other frills. Where the band was working in an exciting and rash way in the past, now they sound very mindful. A lot of spontaneity and excitement was lost this way.

Fortunately there are a couple of highlights after all on the nine song record. It opens with a catchy 'Even When The Water's Cold'. 'One Girl/One Boy' is a pleasant funky disco song with catchy falsetto vocals and especially the closer 'Station (Meet Me At The)' is a great typical !!! killer song. There's still plenty of reason to dance but it will be less enthusiastic.

Unfortunately THR!!!ER didn't become the masterpiece the title promises it to be and that we hoped for. It feels more like another step back. Where Myth Takes felt like a pleasant slap in the face, this time it's more a friendly tap on the cheek. The raw edge that !!! once had is missing here. Instead they are acting too cautious now. And that's a real shame. Hopefully there's still plenty of craziness left in their normally so lively and energetic shows.

This review has been published on ROAR E-Zine in Dutch over here.

Listen to THR!!!ER on Spotify.

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