Kevin Hooyman’s vivid and vicious cover for !!!’s third LP, Myth Takes (Warp Records), perfectly captures the uninhibited energy of the band. The cluttered landscape of cavorting animals crammed into a tightly packed throng recalls the ghastly triptychs of Hieronymus Bosch and the detailed scenes of Martin Handford.
After their spacey, expletive-laden sophomore effort, Louden Up Now, and the dissolution of vocalist Nic Offer and guitarist Tyler Pope’s Out Hud side project, !!! have stepped up with a full-bodied funk record at which the late James Brown would have grinned.
The title track instantly reveals a tighter, more coherent sound than the previous record – one grounded on the dance floor rather than chasing abstract Can-esque designs into oblivion. Disco-flavored tracks like “All My Heroes are Weirdos” and “Heart of Hearts” – the latter of which sees Offer trading lines with a female guest – are infectious jabs of percussive force, hooking into the listener’s hips and spine and shaking them silly.
“Yadnus” employs an unmistakable Glitter beat, and Offer is game to glam it up a bit with one of his more interesting vocal performances, fitting his words into the rhythmic niches amidst tastefully applied strings. !!! rise above the scrap heap of the dance-punk subculture, proving that their success is not in the fortunes of a fickle trend but in their killer instinct for floor-filling, anthemic songs.