New York rock band !!! (pronounced "chk-chk-chk," or any three, repetitive, monosyllabic sounds) play their first-ever Charleston gig this week, touring behind their third studio album, Myth Takes (Warp). Singer Nic Offer, drummer Jerry "Martian" Fuchs, percussionist/synth player/saxophonist Allan Wilson, guitarists Mario Andreoni and Tyler Pope, bassist Justin Van Der Volgen, keyboardist Dan Gorman, and vocalist Shannon Funchess plan to get funky — bouncing from industrial-strength synth-rock to soul to disco and New Wave (both circa 1977) and back.
"These are delicately crafted songs that predominantly work off of dance beats," says Wilson, a founding member now based in Portland, Ore. "Although, we're not too concerned about delicate craft or anything. The heavy grooves and dance beats are what it's all about. When we started doing this 10 years ago, our audiences were like, 'What the fuck is this?' They just stood and glared. Now, it's very different. It's unusual when people aren't dancing."
Whether based on a mechanical drum machine beat or a full-on funk rhythm section sound, Myth Takes moves and shakes pretty hard. The title track draws from the repetitive, disco-turned-punk hybrid used by Trio, Devo, and Talking Heads. On "Must Be the Moon" the 2000-era punk/disco noise meets the dry goofiness of Flight of the Conchords. The pounding tom work of "Yadnus" makes the best use of the Gary Glitter beat since The Fall's "Glam Racket." "Heart of Hearts" rattles away with 16ths on the hi-hats and a fuzzed-out, Gap Band-style synth-bass thrrrrrumping. Nic Offer's odd singing lumbers on top of it all.
"At times, I think this music bridges the gap between dance and punk," says Wilson. "Punk kids get into it, indie kids get into it, rock kids get into it. I'm excited to see what kind of reaction we get from to the thump and the groove." —T. Ballard Lesemann