How will a band whose sound came of age in the previous decade enter into this newfangled 2010? With quite an interesting bang, actually.
Sacramento-based dance-punk band !!! (pronounced chik-chik-chik for those uninformed/always curious but too embarrassed to ask) reeled off three albums in the previous decade, starting with 2001's !!! and on through perhaps their best work, 2007's Myth Takes.
What started as a raw, funky sound turned into a calculated, driving force by the time Myth Takes hit stores.
!!! had really created their own genre, complete with a sound unabashedly uniquely their own. So how will their latest album, Strange Weather, Isn't It? stack up against their impressive, previous resumé?
Well, for one thing, John Pugh -- perhaps the heart of the band's funkiness -- left the band shortly after Myth Takes was released to focus on his own project, Free Blood. Pugh brought a passion and white man's funk to the band that many figured would be tricky to replace, but !!!'s impresario -- the always affable Nic Offer -- did well in tapping the soulful Shannon Funchess to step in. It is her vocals that would take over for Pugh's while on tour, and it's on Strange Weather that Funchess gets to really step up her game, shining on many track -- the quirky "Wannagin, Wannagin" being her boldest example.
02 The Most Certain Sure
03 Wannagain Wannagain
04 Jamie, My Intentions Are Bass
05 Steady as the Sidewalk Cracks
07 Jump Back
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08 Even Judas Gave Jesus a Kiss
09 The Hammer