September 4, 2003

The Repeat Button

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Think hot pink, ass-less pants — sexy, skin tight vinyl, Prince style. Harken back to the disco bounce of the wet-curly mullet and the booty shakin’ of “Erotic City.” This is the level of funk we’re talking about here with !!!. No, that’s not a typo, its their name. Denoted by three exclamation points and pronounced ‘chk chk chk’ (as a small sticker on their EP indicates), there is a new band begging for the end of pretension and a return to the dance floor.

!!! has crafted the latest hit on the New York indie dance scene, if such an entity exists. The track Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard from their EP by the same name is a ten minute progressive exploration of the day post-punk returned to its early funk influences and mingled with disco for just a moment — something like the Talking Heads taking the stage with Funkadelic and having the Bee Gees come on for the encore.

With roots in California, !!! have come a long way to deliver the revolution in true balls-out, rumpus fashion. “Me and Giuliani …” begins with an earthshaking bass line, topped by hiccups of electric guitar, and tribal chants. As horns punctuate the texture and the guitar gradually builds into surging, echoing waves, the bass line shifts into high gear ready for the first climax a whole 4 minutes into the track. !!! take the listener over the edge only to turn full tilt — back to the irresistible bass line that started the whole mess. The song prolongs the ecstasy of building and breaking down until sweat has formed on your brow from all the action. After all, who can resist the lead singer’s beckons “so if U got hips then shake ’em / & if you got fears, forsake ’em / … E-verybody cut, E-verybody cut, loose / … and shake that BUTT.” !!! sow the seeds for a NYC dance-riot, but if for some reason, there is no coup d’etat, at least at the end of the song, as the band exits on doo’s and handclaps, you’re already reaching for the repeat button.

Archived article by Andrew Gilman