Album Review: !!!, Thr!!!er

There are few bands where you are able to guess the correct pronunciation of their name first go, and !!! is no exception. Is it pronounced in a squeal? A scream? A flurry of arm movements used in moments when words escape us? No, as it turns out the correct way to say !!! is, oddly enough, “chk-chk-chk” as I later found out after calling them “exclamation mark, exclamation mark, exclamation mark”; their album Thr!!!er on the other hand is indeed pronounced the way it looks if you replace ‘!!!’ with ‘ill’.Now that confusion is set aside, let’s get down to how the album sounds rather than how it’s pronounced.Off the bat, the first song “When The Water’s Cold” is a great track; one of the best on the album, in fact. From start to finish, punchy funk and pop tunes bounce off the walls of your ears and put a groove in your step and your dancing shoes: “Friends told her she was better off at the bottom of a river/ Than in a bed with him”. The only downside is that when listening to the album in its entirety, !!! really dive into the deep end of high expectations with the first track and they struggle to re-surface after it.There are good albums and there are great albums; and that’s the distinction that !!! just failed to grasp. Thr!!!er is a good album that could have been great. The sudden change in the album’s direction after the first song — from catchy, punchy tunes in “When The Waters Cold” to groovy 80s style beats with slight vocal distortion in “Get That Rhythm Right” — really throws you off and it’s a struggle to get back on again. It lacks atmosphere and consistency between the tracks; variety is always great on an album, but jumping from electronic beats like “Slyde” to punchy beats and vocals with attitude in “Californiyeah”, is a bit off-putting in the sense that the flow of the album seems interrupted.Individually, each song is fun; the band brings back flashes of 70s and 80s movie soundtracks with each funky tune. Yet, there is only so much groovy decade music you can listen to without being an enthusiast or Architecture In Helsinki. To be fair, each song on the record has potential, but a live performance is probably what would make this album successful. Bands bring their album alive during performances, and imagining these guys grooving across a stage with the attitude they bring to their songs and perhaps in general, the album would be appreciated a lot more.There is no doubt that !!!’s album Thr!!!er is an enjoyable jumble of funk. You might end up nostalgic and putting on some leg warmers, but it’s definitely worth giving it a shot. If !!! follow the road in the way of their first track, their next album would be one to look out Aimee Malotsis

May 28th 2013
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