!!!: Wallop (WARP) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, January 27th, 2020  


!!!  Wallop


Sep 04, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The substance of a !!! record is largely found in its style. Over their two-decade running time, the band pronounced as "chk chk chk" has, for better or worse, remained wedded to the dance hall origins. Earlier leanings wore New York's millennial post-punk accoutrements while latter releases have lightened the festivities quite a bit, aided by equally spirited collaborators invited to the party. Vocalist Nic Offer and company's earnest exploration of history's influential grooves have created a kaleidoscopic effect on the band's most recent (and best) output.

Wallop is !!!'s latest albumtheir eighth studio albumand the result is a sonic sibling of 2017's Shake the Shudder. Once again, an impressive array of guest vocalistsAngus Andrew (Liars), Cameron Mesirow (Glasser), Maria Uzor (Sink Ya Teeth)-and producersGraham Walsh (Holy Fuck) and Cole M.G.N. (Beck)were enlisted to significantly shape the musical clay first formed by Offer, resulting in a satisfying, liberal listen.

The slightly industrial, heavy bass house sound of "Off the Grid" fades effortlessly into the bright strums and falsetto harmonies of "In the Grid," a short interlude that cleans the palette before the straightforward full band funk of "Serbia Drums" takes over. Drum and bass to disco. Rock and roll to dated pop. Sly Stone to Stevie Wonder. The spectrum of influences here follow no rhyme or reason, only the directional interests of !!!.

While Offer is no stranger to politized statements or cultural observations, the reality is that !!!'s interests largely lie on the musical end, the dizzying, dance-driven spiral into which each album descends. His most pressing question is asked from the outset, on the infectious "Let It Change U," when Offer sings, "Why won't you let the rhythm change you/Why won't you let it rearrange a thing or two?" 

Perhaps there's something unexpected at work on Wallop. If the drama seems too great, the system too powerful, at the very least we have the present moment in which we can dance with all manner of sweaty rebellion. (www.chkchkchk.net)  

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10


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