!!! - THR!!!ER
So this is happening: a new !!! record. There’s reason to be excited outside of their trademark exclamation points. Yes perhaps their last album ‘Strange Weather, isn’t it’ might not have met all expectations. That’s fine. An occasional lapse from quality is fine for a band that’s written memorable songs about Giuliani, George Bush, Tony Blair and other ‘control-oriented’ politicians. Most of ‘Strange Weather, isn’t it’ meandered a bit. For an ambient record this is no problem. !!! is beat centric hence the slight problem. Most of ‘Strange Weather, isn’t it’ played more like a band sick of partying but still in that phase. If after three solid albums over the course of about a decade they have one dud, forgiveness can be expected to a large degree.
Their successes have been great successes. ‘Me and Giuliani down by the School Yard’ besides being a complete non-stop groove reminded one of the best of Liquid Liquid and countless other 80s dance groups distilled into a perfect essence. No matter that in some concerts they’d fail to play that legendary song. When they did, it matter. When they didn’t they had plenty of other songs to fall back onto from their debut, from Louden Up Now or from Myth Takes. Wherever they’d get it from they had plenty to present.
Where does that leave them now? Can !!! reinvent itself? Will they choose to do something less dance-rock orientated? At this point out of all the early 2000s dance-rock outfits they remain the most formidable. To continue in a vein that most bands have given up on is admirable. Those who continue to mine that sort of sound do it to decreasing expectations (like Franz Ferdinand’s dinosaur act after a couple of years as a ‘hot act’. Clearly Franz Ferdinand are probably begging their diminishing fan base to ‘take them out’.).
Honestly though !!! seem to be a be a bit smarter than that. Compared to the flash in the pan work of other dance rock act they’ve held their own. Perhaps the ridiculously named ‘TH!!!LLER’ will live up to its name. If it doesn’t than that’s a real waste of a perfectly ridiculous name. Expect them in the spring. They will be coming.