Nic Offer (vocals, keyboards)
Mario Andreoni (guitar, bass)
Tyler Pope (guitar, keys, bass, drums/percussion, drum programming)
Justin Van der volgen (bass)
Allan Wilson (percussion, saxaphone, keys)
Dan Gorman (percussion, trumpet, keys)
John Pugh (drums, percussion, vocals, gong)
Jason Racine (percussion)
!!! (pronounced as any 3 repetitive sounds, most commonly known as chk chk chk) formed in 1996 after the demise of the hardcore band Yah-Mos, when singer Nic Offer wanted to make a more dance influenced band. He returned to his Sacremento abode, where his idea quickly grew into an octet of various musicians. Offer, Pope, and Van der Volgen were also playing in another band, Out Hud, around the same time. They released a split single with them in 1998. This CD was released in 2004 on Touch and Go.
The thing that get me about these guys, was that even though they played dance music, they are so musically talented. They are truly creative and have a sort of funk-jazz-disco-punk-rock-dance fusion sound that is hard to explain to someone who hasnt heard them before, and that is what makes them truly innovative and amazing.
The album clearly shows that talent. With funky guitar riffs, tight drum beats, and a bassline that at parts could easily blow out speakers, along with various brass instruments, there is no reason why you wouldnt want to get up and shake your ass. Nic's voice is quite deep and blends in as just another instrument; making the focus on the whole picture instead of just him. While most of the songs describe dancing and partying, songs like Pardon my Freedom, as well as other songs in certain parts, talk about politics. While this may raise the question "Why would I want to dance to people who talk about politics?", the answer is simply that you will be dancing so wildly that you won't even be paying attention. Nic could be singing about puppies getting killed by trains and it would still be danceable. Songs like Hello?.. during the breakdown and Nic's lyrics go into "Does any one here speak English? 'Cause everyone in here's acting like I'm fuking crazy", Me and Guliani... which features the infectious do do do do do doooooooo and the lyrics "if you got hips then shake 'em, and if you got fears forsake them" describe the party vibe they capture so well.
Altogether, this album contains must-play tracks for any awesome party, but some tracks seem dont have all of the energy that is in others. Aside from this, this is a nice follow-up to this awesome band.
Hello? Is This Thing On?
When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Karazee
Pardon my Freedom
Me and Guliani Down by the Schoolyard