This whole intro paragraph is going to serve as a completely unneeded expository explanation on how dance music has all of a sudden become huge with indie kids. Yeah, so dance music. It's become pretty big hasn't it? I guess there are a few kinds: shit like The Rapture, where's these sleazy kids dancing around; terrible stuff like The Faint where it's Nine Inch Nail fans trying to have fun; and finally the jam band version of indie dance - !!! and their offshoot of OUTHUD. These are essentially indie approved dance bands, and they really are not afraid to admit it. They revel in this new found "fame."
On their sophomore LP Louden Up Now, !!! (chk chk chk, or any repeating sound, basically) tend to explore similar territory as their previous album, but move further into the political arena with their absolutely vapid lyrics. The similar sounds to their previous efforts are a main hindrance to the album. It seems like OUTHUD is receiving all of the experimentation in this relationship. Despite this, production is generally good; everything is super clean and well done, keeping the grooves alive throughout the album. High-hats and the bass reign supreme throughout.
Obviously the main point of contention on the album is the lyrics. The lyrics on !!! albums have never been terribly important (the importance being the desire to make you move your Chuck Taylor'd feet), but in this case they kind of become annoying. I'm all for political lyrics - actually, wait I'm not. Musicians and politics generally don't mix (see: the entire punk rock movement). Here, singer Nic Offer doesn't do anything to make you believe otherwise. See the brilliance in "You can tell the President to suck my fuckin' dick," on "Dear Can," and realize what you're in for. Then of course there's "ShitScheisseMerde," parts 1 and 2. No explanation really needed for these.
Honestly what !!! do excel in is the area of grooves, and this found nowhere better than the album's centerpiece (and previously released) "Me And Guliani Down By The Schoolyard." It's kind of strange how much this track simply stands out above the others. It continually builds up and eventually comes to a head at the end, almost making up for so many of the other faults of the album.
Despite the well done dance grooves put forth by the band, they aren't really enough to save it from mediocrity. Louden Up Now just gets caught up way too much in it's bad political lyrics - and taking them too seriously - and the sheer monotony of the sound the band has taken.
6.5 / 10
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