!!! (Chk Chk Chk) – Thr!!!er (Thriller)

thriller

!!! – Thr!!!er
Warp Records
April 29, 2013

What It Sounds Like:  Not nearly as rambunctious and outlandish and some of their previous work, this is straight dance punk and indie rock smashed together, and done well.

If you believe in love
Sometimes it isn’t.
Do you believe in love?
Then save the bulls–t questions.

Sometimes it is
Sometimes it isn’t
Sometimes it’s just how the light hits their eyes.
The light hits their eyes
The light hits their eyes.

You’re forgiven if you’re somewhat let down with the new Chk Chk Chk record.  I understand your position – it wasn’t what I was expecting either.  Much more “toned down” in a sense, and much more “safe” as well – but this is a primary case of a band expanding their sound and trying new things, but not going off-the-walls bonkers crazy, and proving to us that they do know how to write catchy songs that actually stay in sonic structures that can stand on their own two legs.  You don’t have to have ten layers of effects to make your band good.  You can be tight knit and tone your craft – as exhibited on this release.

Get That Rhythm Right is a trip down a dark, back alley through streets of New Orleans on a rainy night, where you suddenly encounter a saxophone player playing inside some French disco.  It’s half sexy and seductive, half introspective and blurring.  It’s a sharp contrast to the lead single One Girl / One Boy, which if it had a female vocal, could easily be a straight-up Ting Tings single, except it’s not near as angry as Katie White likes to be.  Funky guitars and tight beat with lines like When I hear that song / You know I’m only gonna think about love / I think about you – Do we really need to angry?  Can’t we just have a good time with the new Chk Chk Chk?

This record dives into much more throwback funk than new-wave synths and experimentals that we are used to from these guys.  Except Death is darker funk.  Fine Fine Fine is protopunk meets Devo and a drumline.  Station (Meet Me At The) flips us on our heads and goes straight pop with a big, fat singable chorus.  There’s enough differentiation within the same dance-punk vein to keeps things interesting without flying off into various territories like so many dance-punk bands try to do to set themselves apart.  Chk Chk Chk are five records in – they’re a pretty well-oiled machine by now – and it shows.

It’s no shocker that when I recommend two songs, a lot of times, the lead off song will be one of them.  You gotta start records off on the right foot, and here, with Even When The Water’s Cold, its a no-frills killer start.  Simple bass change-ups, warbled guitars, and a chorus that will stick in your head more than anything else on this record.

This is the biggest change up in sound that we have seen from Chk Chk Chk, but it feels just like home.  I’m not gonna hate on this even in the slightest.  As far as the first couple listens are concerned, this record has stuck with me faster than any of their previous work.  That’s gotta be saying something.

8/10

If you had to listen to two tracks:  Even When The Water’s Cold / Californiyeah

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