!!! (chk chk chk) Me and Giuliani Down By the Schoolyard (A True Story) EP

[Touch and Go; 2003]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: dance punk, disco-funk, neofunk, electro
Others: Out Hud, Midwest Product, Gang of Four, LCD Soundsystem

Comprised of several members from Out Hud, !!! are currently tearing up the scene with a style that is both disco and post-punk sounding. Having toured for quite some time, and gaining a dedicated following, this large group (containing 7 members) has released the precursor to the soon-to-be second full-length album. With no release date known, Me and Giuliani Down By the Schoolyard will have to suffice for now. The good news is that you get two tracks that both clock in at over 9-minutes a piece. 

The title track begins with a "Run Like Hell" intro á la Pink Floyd, soon to be joined by bouncing bass riffs and no-wave style vocals from Nic Offer. Although there are vocals on this EP, they are fairly sparse over the course of the songs. Relying mostly on the bass and drums to set the pace, the guitar and keyboard effects are situated around them for mood. The second track, “Intensifieder,” is a remix of a track off the bands debut self-titled album. This track is heavily weighed down by a processed deep-house beat, making it sound more like the remix it is than a proper song. The two songs, however, compliment each other very well in just a short matter of time.

With two songs that pretty much remain constant in subject matter, it’s hard to make any assumptions as to the relevance of this EP. The union of these bands styles, however, is definitely something that should (and will) be explored further. We’ll have to stand by patiently to see if the new !!! album will be as promising as Out Hud’s 2002 release, S.T.R.E.E.T. D.A.D. My guess is that this EP is a pretty good indication of those possibilities.

1. Me and Giuliani Down By the Schoolyard
2. Intensifieder