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Album Review

!!!, 'Strange Weather, Isn't It?'

August 23, 2010

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It’s easy to forget how fresh the disco punk of !!! sounded coming out of the indie world around the turn of the millennium. The sound popularized by the California band and like-minded label DFA (stuttering snares and high-hats, honking saxophone, cowbell and wood block percussion, disco guitar licks) would soon become synonymous with the decade’s urban club zeitgeist. Ten-plus years and four records later, their raw, post-punk-colored-funk attack still sounds as compelling as it did at the start. Tracks here like “Wannagain Wannagain’’ push and heave with dirty, bouncing basslines and cymbal crashes pushed up high in the mix. “The Most Certain Sure’’ builds off a hypnotically repetitive house-style hook, then shifts focus from sprawling electronic grandeur to trad disco. The introduction of vocalist Shannon Funchess into the fold, who colors in the cracks of the grimy, throbbing “AM/FM’’ and the epically transforming, dance-floor romance “Even Judas Gave Jesus a Kiss’’ adds a welcome, feminizing touch to the sweaty boys club approach. As in many of the five-minute-plus jams here, the latter builds like a DJ pacing out a club set toward a moment of climax. Makes you want to say “!!!’’ (Out tomorrow) LUKE O’NEIL

ESSENTIAL “AM/FM’’

!!! perform at Royale on Sept. 23.