Perhaps you’ve come across the kind of individual who looks like he has a day job in tech support or software design who, when finding so much as a toe on the dance floor, erupts into a frenzy of twists and jives that would give Prince or Bowie a run for their money. Nic Offer, lead vocalist of !!! (Commonly pronounced ‘Chk Chk Chk’) is that man. His latest offering, a sixth studio album titled ‘As If’, is at heart a love for simple yet compelling dance grooves.
Starting out as a punk collective, !!! have ditched lo-fi heavy handedness for slicker, vocoder-bred vocals and vintage bass synths- a sound they have been building on since the early 2000s. While this is their most bonkers showing to date (see the ludicrously animated video for single ‘Bam City’), it is also their strongest. Layered with rapid snares and funk-centric keys, at its peaks (namely ‘All U Writers’ and ‘Bam City’), this album is incredibly tight and infectious. Meanwhile, tracks such as ‘Ooo’ and ‘Sick Ass Moon’ add lyrical substance that is evocative of Metronomy vocalist Joseph Mount’s breezy style, though don’t quite pack the same punch.
The band is more a group of like-minded personalities hurling off-the-cusp thoughts and emotions at a blank canvas; there’s no rulebook, no prevailingly concise concept or message, they appear to be doing what they love and just so happen to have the right tools at their disposal. If there’s one thing the band possess in spades it’s fun. There’s breathing room in which they don’t take themselves too seriously and while that makes the band somewhat harder to approach critically, once you’re latched on to its inescapable shoulder shimmying the album is from start to finish an exhilarating ride through acid-infused disco and eccentric techno.
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