Louden Up Now
(Touch & Go)
||"Pardon My Freedom"
The weight of sentimentality rests heavily on my shoulders as
I write this now, not as a hindrance but actually of massive deliverance
because now I have a chance to publicly exude my tremendous excitement
for the band and their absurdly-too-good new album. Thought I'd
put that on the proverbial table, also, because I'm not going
to continue rambling in that oh-so-subtle-tell-me-a-f'n- boring-story-in-the-typical-record-critic-mannerisms.
I'm a geeked-out fan for !!! (pronounced however the hell you
want, just three consecutive one syllable words. I say it "chk
chk chk", some say it "pow pow pow" and so on
so I'm going to keep it that way. Perhaps it's the only perception
that really matters, a purer, more emotionally driven assessment
and acuity as opposed to a view rooted heavily in analytic garbage.
Anyway. This band (or collective?) aren't one of those New/Now/No
New York newbies
please. !!! have and always will create
a context of their own, simultaneously deconstructing genres and
scenes altogether. !!! have been together since about 1996 (I
was and am a fan of vocalist Nic Offer's previous band Yah Mohs
and current shared-members outfit Out Hud) and I've been pretty
much stalking this band out after learning about them from friends
on the Left Coast (some say Cali was at this punk-dance-wave insurgence
first, sorry NY), !!!'s original home. Ever since then I've been
eagerly awaiting albums and tours, the latter especially.
Their live shows have always invoked an indescribable energy
and adrenaline rush for me (and evidently many others) as I can
recall several shows literally amounting to giant dance-party-orgies.
The live experience stands singular to the album experience, and
both stand uniquely on their own, for the live setup always allows
for improv, the unexpected, and energy transferences between the
crowd; while the production demonstrates sound and instrumentation
mastery, a general dichotomy for almost all artists but somehow
a more noticeable angle to !!!'s steez, if you will. Above any
of that, though, what always attracted me the most was the rebellious
attitude towards the "uptight" indie scene that !!!'s
crowd unfortunately comprised mostly of.
The almost ten minute long anthem-single "Me and Giuliani
by the Schoolyard" released last year was a complete tease
for me, because it marked an evident maturation from their self-titled
debut (not to discredit it by any means!) and I wanted to hear
but the excruciating wait has been completely worth
it. Louden Up Now doesn't F around, and starts off explosively,
continuing consistently. My song highlights include "Pardon
My Freedom" and "Hello Is This Thing On," but really
all songs are amazingly diverse, representing a vast palette of
influences, instruments and sounds.
Interestingly enough Arthur Russell comes to mind, for the experimentations
on the album are akin to Russell's keen ability to weave a musical
story of house inspired tracks, disco, noisy dissonance, and raw
emotion- and this album (dare I say!) stands parallel. Other words
and artists that come to mind are sex, sweat, Konk, energy, tribal,
reverb, loud, vulgar, Chic, soul, dance, politics, ACR, phunk
and so on. Louden up now, either in your headphones or on the
For a limited time, on-line and in-store purchases will receive
a bonus re-mix CD, while supplies last.