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CD Review: !!!'s 'Myth Takes' - No Mistakes Here

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Artist: !!!
Title: Myth Takes
Release Date: 3/4/07
Label: Warp Records
!!!'s MySpace
!!!'s Website

If, like me, you’ve been fortunate enough to see a live !!! show, then you’ll know that their recordings are just snapshots in time, a place for the band to step off on extended sweat-inducing punk funk jams. Enough about their bizarre name, call them chkchkchk, uhuhuh, whatever. The band is comprised of Mario Andreoni (guitar), Dan Gorman (horns/percussion/keys), Nic Offer (vocals), Tyler Pope (guitar/various electronic devices), John Pugh (drums/vocals), Justin Van Der Volgen (bass/sound) and Allan Wilson (horns/percussion/keys) - Myth Takes is their third full-length album. The band has been around since 1995, touring the US and Europe but they got a huge amount of exposure in 2006 by being the opening band for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Fortunately, very little of what the Peppers have become has rubbed off on !!!.

Myth Takes opens with the spacious title track that has an odd familiarity, like a galloping rocker version of Ennio Morricone’s theme to the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly with the whispered intensity one is familiar with in !!! albums.

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The explosive entry into ‘All My Heroes Are Weirdos,’ a wall of percussion, is !!!’s trademark but this is probably the last look at what was ‘typical’ in !!! albums. It seems like this tune is sung by the drummer, John Pugh, who has been doing more vocals for the group lately [I can’t be sure since the promo copy I have doesn’t have any credits info at all].

‘Must Be The Moon’ might be the best track on the album. A narrative of an evening’s romantic conquest features a driving beat, and a rap-like delivery in the first half. Nic Ofner even makes fun of the lyrics, pointing out that “this is starting to sound like a rap.” The chorus is where you really start to notice how this is a very different !!! album – there are backing vocals, and they aren’t yelling/screaming, they’re sung. With two minutes to go, some incredible depth-charge electronics are added to the backbeat, with Justin Van Der Volgen’s lyrical and heavy duty funked up bassline. You may have heard Van Der Volgen in the !!!-related band, Out Hud, but !!! is where he really shines – he’s the best (damn) bass player I’ve seen in years and definitely the best player in this whole punk-disco scene. His basslines are what define the signature tracks on this record and all of !!!’s releases.