By Sid Saikia

Chk Chk Chk, Pow Pow Pow, Ungh Ungh Ungh, call them whatever you want but the Brooklyn via California based band with the exclamatory moniker are back with their new album “Myth Takes.” Shedding the semi political focus of their earlier hits, like “Me and Guiliani Down By The School Yard” this undeniably talented group has unleashed a synth laced, funk-driven, kick drum-powered beast of a record.

It seems like everyone and their uncle is sticking a little break beat under their otherwise ordinary indie rock tune and being called musical geniuses (Bloc Party, The Rapture, CSS and on and on). What these bands are only latching onto now !!! has been doing since 1996 when most of us were listening to the Offspring or Greenday—okay, maybe it was just me. But apart from a couple of songs off their first album, “Louden Up Now,” they’ve lacked a certain cohesiveness and consistency in their music which had left them suspended in the state between underground band and indie-dance floor hit.
“Myth Takes” finally brings this band up to the level. Putting you in the groove with the title track’s smooth bass line, the album goes absolutely funkadelic with “All My Heroes Are Wierdos” which sounds like James Brown doing the conga in the middle of the Amazon rain forest. Previous complaints about !!! have concerned the lack of vocal quality of singer Nic Offer. In “A New Name” Offer defies his critics by hitting high notes that make James Blunt sound like Creed’s Scott Stapp and the guitar riff on this track sounds like he’s strumming an electric violin. If you’re interested in the typical raise-the-beat-and-break-into-chorus songs then this album isn’t for you because !!! love building the crescendo slowly and meticulously, leaving you hanging for a minute (or even a whole song) and then cue kick drums to blow your mind. The piece de résistance of this album has to be “Bend Over Beethoven” starting with its smooth bass line and guitar scraps until it reaches it’s climax and you think the chorus is coming, but instead it goes the conga way with an infective “d-d-d don’t stop” vocals and then breaks into a medley that I will bet you can’t not bob your head to. The brilliance of this song is that it avoids sounding like some pop Ok Go-esque tune by purposely lowering the volume of the vocals and hence bringing out the musical genius in this song—the echo guitar scraps will make you cream your pants.
This is one of the best albums I’ve heard so far this year. If you’re into dance rock, indie rock or whatever, if you’re into good upbeat music that makes you want to gyrate incessantly then this album is for you.