October 22, 2010

WELL, IT DID SNOW HERE TODAY:

REVIEW: of Strange Weather, Isn’t It? by !!! (Noel Murray August 24, 2010, AV Club)

With 2007’s Myth Takes, the ecstatic dance-punk collective !!! came up with an album almost as strong as its best singles and live shows. The group largely holds that stride with its fourth LP, Strange Weather, Isn’t It?, a nine-song, 40-minute set that functions as a celebration of rhythm, movement, and macking. The opening song, “AM/FM,” warns, “You can turn up the radio, but you can’t drown out the wind,” and employs a shimmery guitar—halfway between The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now?” and Talking Heads’ “Crosseyed And Painless”—to evoke the sound of static and hot gusts, both of which propel the song’s protagonist forward

Early Listening: !!! - Strange Weather, Isn't It? (Michael Lopez, Jun. 24 2010, Phoenix New Times)
Strange Weather continues the tried and true !!! tradition of crafting an insanely catchy chorus that is easily memorizable and, thus, repeatable before a song's end. Take for instance the album's second track, "The Most Certain Sure." In it, frontman Nic Offer sings "And it's a good thing / It's a good thing," demanding that listeners get this line stuck in their head, gleefully repeating it before the end of the song's five-plus minutes. The same thing goes for the interestingly-titled "Jamie, My Intentions Are Bass," as the titular line will, in fact, become easily repeatable.

Absent from Strange Weather is an eight-minute opus the likes of "Bend Over Beethoven," perhaps the band's finest track, yet there is still a down-home, vintage !!! feel to Strange Weather. There are the brash, raw musical elements of !!! ("Steady as the Sidewalk Cracks") mixed in with the heavy-handed lyrical content of Louden Up Now ("Even Judas Gave Jesus A Kiss") all drizzled a nice, light-hearted Myth Takes funk ganache ("Jump Back"). Now, if it sounds lame of me to say a band's fourth album sounds like a mixture of their previous three, then so be it -- but that's really the best way to describe Strange Weather. The album sounds like the band went back, did their homework and emerged with the best elements from their previous albums -- all of which had their own, unique charm.

One thing is for sure -- the funk-driven bass and rapturous drums of Strange Weather have an early, 2001-era !!! feel to them. That's what has kept the band in business, their knack for creating a pulsating, crescendo-driving funk jam -- one that builds to a throbbing apex that is insanely satisfying more than most things in life. Fans of !!! will be pleased with Strange Weather, given the band's many lineup changes throughout the years. Strange Weather, Isn't It? is an album for those diehard, original !!! fans that also has an appeal to those listeners not so familiar with the uniqueness of !!!'s style.


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Posted by Orrin Judd at October 22, 2010 2:54 PM
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