Punk funk seems such an outdated concept now. Just like Nu-Rave, Indie-dance and a whole other host of names that have been and gone that were used to describe the point where indie kids started going to clubs - Erol Alkan was king and Data Rock looked like the most exciting band on the planet. For better or worse, mixed in amongst this was !!! aka Chk Chk Chk, a band that always seemed to have a bit more going on between the ears. However, when I heard news of a new album, I still wasn't expecting anything more than the standard fare of indie band with electronics.
From the opening boom-chack of 'AM/FM' to the Balearic sheen of 'Even Judas gave Jesus a Kiss', the first couple of songs sound, well, underwhelming. Nice, inoffensive, but not getting ripped, put it that way. Things pick up with 'The Hammer' - crushing sytnhs and a sparing vocals slip in and out of a busy arrangement that falls just the right side of chaotic. 'Hollow' continues in the same vein - dark, brooding and menacing but with hanging from a much sparser skeleton. 'Jump Back' is an exercise in bass hooks and atmosphere. However, I can't help feeling that if they stopped being a 'band' and dropped the vocals, I could get into the music a whole lot more. There's a ton of hooks and interesting musical ideas, but I just can't escape feeling like I am at the indie disco every time there is some singing.
Clearly suggesting a band such as !!! to drop their singer is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike. I reckon the best I can hope for is some nice dub mixes.