I never wanted to like these guys, since they seemed so faux funky: songs that groove but don't go anywhere, karayzee frat-boy antics, and slap bass galore. But then every DJ and his mom started spinning "Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard (A True Story)," and I caved. Its wobbly disco beat builds to peak after peak, each one different, before the holy-shit tension breaks--more than four minutes in--with an interlude of sentimental ersatz emo that's like the sun bursting through the clouds. Though that tune's been played out, !!! has already released "Pardon My Freedom," which is just the thing for spilling your beer all over yourself pulling an outrageous pelvic thrust you never knew you had in you. The group could've stuck to releasing mega singles until the well dried up, but they just put out their second full-length, Louden Up Now (Touch and Go). I suspect they want to remind us that they know there's more to life than the discotheque, but living-room listening doesn't do !!! any favors. The lyrics are purposely mush-minded, and the liner notes look like front man Nic Offer took spelling lessons from Prince: "And u can tell the president 2 suck my fucking dick / Does that sound intelligent? Like I give a fucking frick." No, there's nothing dangerous about this band--but while you're shaking your ass, do you really want to worry about it getting bitten? Stag Party and DJ Friar Tuck open. $12 in advance, $15 at the door; all ages. Tuesday, June 29, 8:30 PM, Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie; 773-276-3600 or 800-594-8499. At midnight Mario Andreoni, Tyler Pope, and Justin Vandervolgen of !!! will DJ for free at Sonotheque, 1444 W. Chicago; 312-226-7600.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Dennis Kleinman.