Review: !!! – Strange Weather, Isn’t It? (Warp)

I’m liking the new !!! album. Read my review for Blurt here or below.

!!! has long survived the dance-punk explosion of the early aughts, outlasting many of the band’s flash-in-the-pan contemporaries from those years. Credit its sustainability not to simply mating drum machine programming with stabbing guitars, but cleverly roping the sounds of disco, Sandinista-era Clash, ’90s house, and dub into the mix.

Strange Weather, Isn’t It? is the band’s first album in three years, and was partially recorded in Berlin – although think Love Parade more than Low here. The opening track and first single, “AM/FM,” places loping basslines underneath an acid house synth wave that sounds like a futuristic version of The Smiths’ “How Soon is Now?” “The Most Certain Sure” pops and jerks until spacing out in a haze of dub reverb halfway through. And “Wannagain Wannagain” recalls vintage New Jack Swing, as bright horns pierce the disco beat and vocalist Nic Offer trades off with the melodious Shannon Funchess.

!!!’s latest is sometimes moody, sometimes bubbly, but a fleshed-out and engaging fusion of rock and electronic music the whole way through.

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