Album Cover
Me and Giuliani Down by the Schoolyard (A True Story)
Touch & Go
June 03, 2003


In the latest wave of ultraderivative dance-punk, Liars have represented the punkier side quite well, and the Rapture have represented the ultraderivative side reasonably well. !!! are the dancier completion of the mini-genre, far less atonal and abrasive and far more downright funky. "Which is not to say !!! are a punk band, nor a funk band, for that matter," says their official website; "they are both. And neither."

Commonly referred to as "Chk Chk Chk" to get around problems with pronunciation and Internet search engines, !!! are eight people gathered together with the sole purpose of making nervous indie kids completely lose it. And they say as much in the lyrics to the title track: "Everybody cut loose/ Now everyone cut/ And shake that butt/ And on the way/ We'll make 'em say/ Make 'em say." They are not out to wow you with their lyrical profundity (see also: track two - "Can you feel it? [burp] Intensify?") - they only aim to bring you dance, but backed with musical complexity and intelligence. And, to a point, they succeed.

"Me and Giuliani" is a fantastic song, and one of the most addicting you'll hear this year. The lyrics, while gleefully obtuse, are easy to overlook in favor of the expansive rest of the song. After its nine and a half minutes end, "Intensifieder" is a letdown, relying mostly on beat and lyrics, but is decent enough not to take away too much from the whole. Forget about it - just listen to the first track again. And then again.

It's unfair to judge a band based on a two-song EP with such different styles represented on either song, but if !!!'s upcoming LP is anything like "Me and Giuliani", it'll be something to watch for. If it's more like "Mix 03", it'll be completely skippable. I'm hoping it won't be.

Noah Jackson

Track List

  1. Me and Giuliani Down by the Schoolyard (A True Story)
  2. Intensifieder Sunracapellectrohshit Mix 03