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!!! - Strange Weather, Isn’t It?

An album which enhances !!!’s dancefloor credentials no end; they’ve still got the jams to roll with the best.

!!! - Strange Weather, Isn’t It?

As with many groups who have to overcome personal tragedy in the run-up to a new album seeing the light of day, !!! could have been forgiven if this latest release had seen them taking their collective eye off the ball. As it happens, ‘Strange Weather, Isn’t It?’ is as focused a dance record as you’re likely to hear this summer, quick to dispel any fears that the Californians’ new line-up would struggle to recreate the quality they produced over the course of ‘Louden Up Now’ and ‘Myth Takes’.

Fans of the Sacramento collective’s previous work will be pleased to hear that the first half or so of this new record continues in the same vein as its predecessors, full of funk-soaked electronica, ballsy hooks and admirable groove. Nic Offer’s vocals are as nonchalantly brilliant as ever, hitting their true peak on ‘Jamie, My Intentions Are Bass’ and the croon-along dancefloor anthem ‘The Most Certain Sure’.

Experimentation is not lost in the mix either though, with the glistening intro of ‘Steady As The Sidewalk Cracks’ sounding like something lifted from a West African street party, before eventually giving way to a chorus that’s all soul. ‘Hollow’ falls slightly wide of the mark in this regard, with its white-rap-and-percussion combination feeling a little bit empty in comparison to the rest of its ‘Strange Weather…’ bedfellows.

Luckily it proves to be a temporary glitch, with the Depeche Mode-esque darkness of ‘Jump Back’ getting things back on track for a brooding, bass-led 3½ minutes as the record approaches its latter stages.

Overall it’s an album which enhances !!!’s dancefloor credentials no end. They’ve battled the adversity which faced them in the past year, and ‘Strange Weather, Isn’t It?’ goes a huge way to prove that they’ve still got the jams to roll with the best. As Offer’s refrain during the closing track ‘The Hammer’ repeatedly spouts forth “Don’t stop, don’t stop, don’t stop,” you’re left hoping that the band heed their own advice. More like this for many years to come, s’il vous plait.

Tags: !!! (Chk Chk Chk), Reviews, Album Reviews

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