Album Reviews

!!! (Chk Chk Chk) – Myth Takes

(Warp) UK release date: 5 March 2007

!!! (Chk Chk Chk) - Myth Takes As mantras go by, how about this one: “We just like it to be wild and weird and sound like it’s from another world and make you dance harder than anything else. It’s always been about the quest for the funkiest, weirdest track that we could find – whatever style of music it falls into.”

Wise chap that Nic Offer. The front man of !!! made that statement in these pages many moons ago. Three years on !!! return with their second album, riding the steady wave of expectation from the cult they have fashioned for themselves.

The best thing any band who produced anything as exciting as their first album Louden Up Now can do is to stick to their guns and what they believe in. It worked for the Arcade Fire on Neon Bible, The Killers on the understated Sam’s Town and will for the Arctic Monkeys on Favourite Worst Nightmare. In other words, the key is to embellish what you have started on.

Where do you begin with this crew? Really. Give them a blank canvas and they could come up with anything. They do have their sound though – druggy chants, bass heavy rhythms, disco-funk jams – and they do carry it over to Myth Takes in the extremes to be expected of them.

The title track is a short funk-propelled number which opens the album while Offer’s haunted vocals interject between eerie awning noises. The album then explodes to life in a signature !!! funk jam on All My Heroes Are Weirdos.

A double whammy of the album’s finest moments then follows, with the experimental electro hoopla of Must Be The Moon. John Pugh takes the lead for A New Name with its sick beat, raining guitar flashes and his uninhibited falsetto.

Recent single Heart Of Hearts could have been plucked from Gus Gus’ shelf and is on a similar killer wavelength as Me and Giuliani, the sound of a 21st century night out, where deep electro flirts promiscuously with house.

It’s a minor miracle how Myth Takes was conceived, what with the band dotted all around the States. On the whole it is cohesive, though Sweet Life betrays that because it’s plain fucking weird – you don’t see many attempting experimental kraut rock ballads.

Yadnus saunters in and boofs it aside with a Goldfrapp-esque bump. Bend Over Beethoven isn’t as anal as it sounds; in fact its the longest most intricate jam fest (eight minutes) on show which really metes the experience of seeing !!! live.

Much like their debut, it’ll take a few listens to be pulled towards Myth Takes by the force operates at its core. It’s natural gravity that tugs you a little on its fringes. Step in any closer and you’ll be sucked in, for sure.

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