!!! (Chk Chk Chk)'s newest album is quite the surprise to me. The band's previous efforts didn't even make my head turn. I thought the music kinda sounded cool, but I was so very turned off by Nick Offer's voice. When the songs played they just seemed like poorly done Rapture tracks. I thought they were overblown and over-the-top. Basically, I just wasn't buying it.
Lately I have been reading reviews off their newest album Myth Takes (say it really fast or with a lisp and it sounds like Mistakes, funny eh?). The large majority of the reviews have been very positive. So I figured I would seek out some of the songs and give them a listen. I went to their myspace page and listened to the first track that opened, "Must Be The Moon." I was shocked. The pounding 4/4 drum track with eerie, ethereal keyboard arpeggios knocked me back honestly. I mean, I honestly can't tell you how exciting this song is. It's got that LCD Soundsystem drumming but with 90s Big Beat noises. I just sounds wonderful. Nick Offer isn't singing anymore either. He's got the Shaun Ryder talk/whisper thing or whatever you call it. And that always works for me, maybe because I think Shaun Ryder is a genius by accident.
Myth Takes is as if LCD Soundsystem, The Talking Heads, Stevie Wonder, Underworld, and The Happy Mondays got in a room and knocked one out. It's got swagger, groove, and even the occasional female backing vocals (Rowena anyone?). This album is very good, but it isn't a Pills and Thrills or the self-titled LCD Soundsystem. It has a few mistakes itself. On two songs, "Infinifold" and "Sweet Life," Offer stops his chanting/yelping and switches to singing. This just doesn't work. This was the very thing that turned my off to !!! in the beginning.
But please, don't let those two songs turn you off. This album is honestly one of the most pleasant surprises I've had in a while. The rhythm section in this group is just amazingly good. They've got that 4/4 beat going on, but really took me was the deep funk breakbeats that the drummer was producing. All of the people overlapping the rhythm section are actually very inventive with their instruments. There is a lot of reverb at times, which is something that always gets me. It is similar, in a way, to Cymande (my favorite funk group ever. If you haven't listened to them yet, well, you are really missing out). Might I add, the transition from the epic "Bend Over Beethoven" to "Break In Case Of Anything" is just riveting.
Myth Takes is a very exciting album. In the end, that's all I can say about. I just enjoy the hell out of it. I loved the last Rapture album with all of my heart. But maybe, now, they should be taking some lessons from !!!. And If I hear anyone call them Nu-Rave, I will hunt you down and make you listen to Tiesto for 24 hours straight. To me that is worst than death.