!!!: Shake the Shudder (Warp) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Shake the Shudder


May 19, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Find It At: AMAZON

New York City's !!! claim their many years on the road have made them older and wiser. But older and wiser doesn't always mean better. The promising groove oriented post-punk that !!! honed over the last six records and 10 years has transformed from dance-punk to dance-funk. And on the band's latest release, Shake the Shudder, from dance-funk to dance-junk.

Armed with a respected array of influences and an encouraging back catalog, expectations were high for Shake the Shudder. But being armed with the proper tools and using them effectively are mutually exclusive. The best tracks feature a bouncy mix of funky rhythms and soulful vocals that sometimes approach the slick post-disco rock of Speaking In Tongues-era Talking Heads, but never quite reach that peak.

Elsewhere the band sidesteps this trend a bit and wades into the electro R&B waters and even tries rap-style vocals over a paisley electro-funk framework. Held together by groovy basslines and rhythmic atmospheric percussion, the tracks play out like a modern day Deee-Lite.

Something seems to have gone awry for a band professing to practice Hansei, the Japanese philosophy of acknowledging one's mistake and pledging improvement. Shake the Shudder is less of an improvement and more of a decline. But while there is nothing really special about it, there is nothing really that bad either, it's just disappointing. (www.chkchkchk.net)

Author rating: 4/10

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Sean Langan
May 19th 2017

Like with most aspect of nostalgia it appears that Matt is yearning for the “good ol’ days” whilst appearing to miss out on the fun of living in the moment which has always been one of !!!‘s strongest attitudes. Certainly stronger than the misgivings he has over other pledges he feels the band hold to be true.

And yet whilst the LP is no means perfect (“What r u up 2Day” could have been left off), the LP certainly flows a lot better than previous albums; with a sharper sense of focus, purpose, editing and song production; the fog of substances kept much more in the background.

The array of singers on Shake…, leaves textures that hark to trans atlantic 90’s dance being mixed with hard disco. So with Matt trying to pigeon Shake in with one of Talking Head’s best LP’s it just makes him sound like he has the lack of genre vocabulary needed to appreciate Shake… . Coincidentally; R Rated Pictures is the most Talking Heads esq song !!! have done, and is at the end of the LP.

Again, the LP is by no means the best thing that ill ever hear, but it does exactly what it says on the tin, and makes you want to dance and have fun.
  Wishing it to be something other than that, is completely missing the point and the purpose of having fun, like right now.