!!! (Chk Chk Chk) - Shake the Shudder
Shake the Shudder
!!! are a wild fucking band. Their name alone usually raises eyebrows especially if you are trying to bring a friend who has never heard of them to a concert. "How is that spelled?" "What does that even mean?" are the FAQs but once inside they are treated to a disco and funk extravaganza. Their music is almost always pure energy with the band in elaborate costumes, and constantly pushing the music forward. You will dance, oh will you dance and likely be around some of the more interesting people from your particular corner of the Universe. This record however takes the dance to a darker level this time around, allowing the low end to really shine. Single "Dancing Is the Best Revenge" represents the band so well, because that is the sentiment they have always held. Despite some changes album to album !!! are so sure of themselves and so confident in their sound that it just flows out of them effortlessly. The bounce they are able to harness is so incredibly infectious and has damn near everyone on their feet and moving. They are able to capture this inner rage and direct into dance music so the sound is aggressive yet so very fun. It might seem like those things should never go together, but in the hands of !!! they do oh so well.
Lead singer Nic Offer often relinquishes the singing duties to others on Shake the Shudder and even when He does sing He will use a different voice. It is almost like Offer is less concerned about how his personality is translated to the album and more concerned with how the music effects the party as a whole. The sound becomes an experience for all which is why some of the more personal songs like "Throw Yourself In the River" and "Throttle Service" don't have the same impact. !!! are at their absolute best when they are wilding out, letting everything go, understatement has never been their mode of operation, and we benefit from that. "What r u up 2Day?" is the most forward thinking track with a childlike vocal and a progressive electronic beat. The title evokes Prince and for good reason because it almost feels as experimental as something The Purple One would do. The album is so diverse and rich that it simply sails by leaving you want more and more. Shake the Shudder is reaffirming that even though the world around us may seem out of control there is always the option to just dance it out. I'll be dancing with !!!.
8.5 out of 10