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Combining punk abandon and tightly-coiled dance music has always been bonded into !!!'s DNA. It's this core plus their growth and mastery of songwriting that has seen them outlive the mid-2000s 'indie/dance punk' tag and has allowed them to consistently grow lyrically and sonically from album to album. ''As If'' is their most transcendent collection of songs yet.
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"As If" (11 tracks; 51 min.) opens with "All U Writers" (1st single), and is my favorite track on here. Musically, it picks up straight where "Thr!!!er" left off, with irresistible dance grooves. "Sick Ass Moon" is a lighter tune, but still quite good. "Every Little Bit Counts" is as straight-forward rock as the band will ever get. We then get to the 6 min. epic "Freedom '15" (2nd single), a fabulous dance song where in the long outro, singer Nick Offer keeps asking "Did you figure it out/what this song is about?", ha! (Urrr... no, Nick, please fill me in!) "Ooo" is a pleasant enough tune. "All The Way" is a mostly instrumental tune that showcases at its funkiest. Later still we get to "Bam City" (3rd single), which is a curious choice for a single, as the song is okay but there definitely are better songs on the album than this. "Funk (I Got This)" is exactly what the title implies, a funky work-out. It all leads to the album's closing track, the massive 9 min. "I Feel So Free (Citation Needed)". a slow-burner that works itself up in a frenzy and then explodes. Nice way to finish the album. Bottom line: I quite like "As If" but I also must admit that it is not the masterpiece that was "Thr!!!er".
I had the good fortune of catching !!! in concert a number of times on the "Thr!!!er" tour, and if you haven't seen these guys live, you haven't had the full !!! experience yet! Their typical set is one massive dance party, led by singer Nick Offer who will stop at nothing to make sure everyone is having a good time (if that means jumping into the crowd and dancing in the audience, he'll gladly do that too). I can't wait to catch these guys in concert again. Meanwhile, "As If" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
!!! (Chk Chk Chk) As If
The world needs to take note of !!! (Chk Chk Chk) as one of the great bands of our time!
Across a series of releases these cutting edge Americans have continued to deliver killer cuts awash with resplendent rhythms and indie injections. The Louden up Now album is one of the finest records of our era-and, their new As If work on Warp Records goes straight for the jugular of gyration!
The band cross the continents of choreography to ensure that a feet to the beat feast ensues! Trademark touches will have appeal to fans of US brethren such as LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture-but, there is much more to admire. The charts should be awash with these sumptuous sonics that traverse from the influence of a Saturday Night Fever 70’s soundtrack through the technological time machine-and, in to the future!
The singles present (e.g. All U Writers, Freedom! ’15 and Bam City) demonstrate a diligent diversity with a series of guest vocalists and variable rhythms. The rest of the record follows suit with sonic standards maintained and a polished production adding to the appeal. The !!! DNA is stamped with punk abandon and dance autonomy-and, from this stance the listener will have every desire to seek out the other five !!! long players!
Do not place this record an As If in your pop purchasing! This new wave funk fare is an essential I am buying priority!