h! I can feel the seams coming apart at last.
Some people will tell you how all the great songs were written long ago and how things don’t work now the way they used to. How it was so much better back then. There’s no craft now. It’s just not as good. And I say to them; fuck off. Are you not dead yet? Hope you die soon. Maybe, just maybe, the last fifty, sixty years, all those songs, all that technological development, rock n roll, psychedelia, punk, acid house; maybe that was all practice? Rehearsal? Maybe now we’ve learnt the ropes of popular music we can start to get down to the really fucking good stuff.
!!! are the best band in New York right now. And they’re not even from New York. Get your head round that. As I understand it they’re something to do with Out Hud, a splinter, more focused maybe, pursuing some different vision. If this is tangential then cosine me, or sine me, or whatever. Just find me the gradient. Oh; here it is. Yes. It was here all along.
What’s going on? Bass and drums and guitars, some organs, some horns, some electronic shit in there, dance music made for people to actually dance to. You know the climax? When the acid surges through and the percussion’s gone and you’re waiting and waiting and it builds and builds and then comes in, shocks your heart back into time, and then tumbles away just as fast? You know rock n roll bands forgot how to do that? It’s back. “Hammerhead” pulls itself apart through this great big mountain of percussion that scrambles shit up, and maybe it’s a bit like Vision Creation Newsun by Boredoms, but it isn’t that, which is enough. “KooKooKa Fuk-U” gets eaten in layers of noise and it’d be looking at its shoes if it wasn’t fucking dancing, OK? At one point “Intensify” just gives up and people start shouting, the human voice as the most exciting thing another human being can hear, damn right, but imagine how much more exciting it would sound with a beat. Go! Clap! The best beat!
“Storm the Legion” opens up in a storm of trumpets and LSD before short-term memory loss makes itself known and friends start walking out of doors in the ceiling with absent looms on their faces, eyes focused on things that aren’t there. “LSD taught me a lot about me / or would I have figured it out naturally? / it’s 2 late 2 tell / cuz I’m walking to hell / with all the other acid casualties.” Of course they’re right. Everybody starts out thinking they’re opening up new realities. Few realise they’ve lost the one they had to start with when it trickles away though. Too many friends… Too right.
Ah. That shit I was saying up top, about the past, about pop music’s historiography all being practice, rehearsal. !!! need all of pop music behind them. They are the product, the culmination of what’s happened before. It’s not just rock n roll, or punk, or funk, or dance; it’s all of it. This is a psychedelic experience as much as anything else. Headphones! Stereo bass! You mad fuckers! Like you haven’t turned me around enough already!?
This is far from perfect. What’s perfect? But this is bleeding with energy and integrity and ideas. OK; idea. Singular. But what a fucking great idea. One tune is called “There’s No Fucking Rules, Dude” and it’s right. There are no rules. There never were. What’s coming next? “Me And Giuliani Down By The School Yard (A True Story)” is the next instalment. This is already old hat. It only just found its way over here. What’s next? What’s next? What’s next? Now.
Reviewed by: Nick Southall
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01