Local Wire

!!! @ Crescent Ballroom

Over the past decade, "hipster" has re-emerged as the insult du jour — an increasingly vague, increasingly common label placed on elitists and enthusiasts of all stripes. No one's really working to take the word back, but if such a movement existed, !!! would be an ideal torchbearer. This dance-punk outfit represents "hipster" ideals at their purest. The band's recordings and aura generally indicate that it's way too cool and smart for the rest of this silly business; the band's name is exotic enough that your average person wouldn't know WTF to do with it. ("Chk chk chk" is the popular pronunciation.) !!! embraces the retro and the kitschy when it needs to, and it's used it all to sustain a career in an indie-rock-friendly niche. In "Pardon My Freedom" — a half-satirical, half-serious middle finger to social mores, and !!!'s crowning moment from 2004's Louden Up Now — frontman and should-be snake charmer Nic Offer mock-apologizes for loving profanity while imploring the president "to suck my fucking dick." THR!!!ER, the group's fifth and latest album, shows it still carving out detached, slinky disco-punk and funk from its classic "hipster" attributes. That makes for some exhilaratingly stylized fun, and whether or not the group is doing it tongue-in-cheek, no one does it better than !!!

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Ali Reyan