The namesake exclamations of !!! (Chk Chk Chk) speak directly about their music: it’s the kind of music that will have you relentlessly grooving with keen eyebrows and spouting silly flirtations like, “Hey baby, let’s dance!” to random passersby. Luckily for our quiet seaside city, these dance-punk revolutionaries will be at SOhO on Saturday, December 5. Not only will local rising stars Givers & Takers be opening for !!!, but !!!’s Stereolad, a Stereolab cover band, will be putting on a raging show as well.
The Sacramento disco-punks just released a new album, As If. The name of the album came from the band’s affinity for the playful and “snooty punk culture,” said vocalist Nic Offer. The album artwork features Crystal the Monkey wearing a hilarious grin and shrugging her shoulders while sitting upon a mound of toppling bananas – a clear message that this music is all about pure fun. The band melds its unique sound by perfectly pairing dance and disco vibes with punk rock tones to create a radical, rock-beat take on dance music.
Offer described how he the band likes to blur the lines between guitar rock and synth pop with the instruments themselves, as when they employed a drum machine effect on a guitar on latest single, “Bam City.” “It was this one specific pedal that Jim had on the guitar, and we mixed it and merged it with the Dave Smith Tempest drum machine setting, which is really what were going for. We want it to be kind of like ‘is it a guitar or is it a synth?”’
The result of their experimentation is like a spread of awesome ice cream flavors for your eardrums, with churning gritty guitars and electrified synthesizers coming together as coolly as polar bears’ toenails.
The video for “Bam City” compliments the song perfectly, too. It’s a low-budget production that features Offer dancing and singing in his bandmates’ houses with crazy post-production animations of Crystal the Monkey playing guitar and other psychedelic effects. “The only idea that I had was that he [percussionist/keyboardist Dan Gorman] was going to put on the wig and play the guitar. It felt very punk and fly-by-the-seat ways to do a video. It was kind of glammy, like a Prince glam song,” Offer said.
!!! fans can definitely except to hear some awesome new music from As If at this show, but who could’ve guessed that they would be opening for themselves with their very own Stereolab cover band. Stereolab is probably one of the greatest and best post-rock alternative bands, but even for a Stereolab fan like myself, it’s surprising !!! chose to cover this band as both bands have markedly different sounds. “It was one of those bands that were really important to us back in the nineties,” Offer said. “People have a tendency to think of bands that are jammy as Santana, but Stereolab was legitimately jammy, but it felt minimal and the same time.”
Stereolab stood out from the “three chord kind of funk in the scene,” Offer said. “To hear a band only using one chord was like ‘Wow! This is really exciting, this is even more minimal.’ And we translated that into our funk … and we were coming from a one note vibe. And you know, when you listen to James Brown, those pick lines are even more minimal. I think it just made our approach to music more minimal, with a jammy aesthetic. ”
So expect !!! to louden up SOhO with not just their own take on dance music, but Stereolab’s as well – ‘as if’ you needed more incentive. With combination of disco-punk, ambient grooves, and local talent in Givers & Takers, this gig strives to be one for the books. Let’s dance.