While the dance-punk explosion of the aughts is long past, most of the acts either gone or gone full EDM, !!! is still waving the alt-disco flag. New album Let It Be Blue is a great affirmation of the sound, while also bringing some curveballs.
Indeed, Blue starts with a curve, with the acoustic (!) melancholy of “Normal People”. Maybe it wouldn’t have fit anywhere else on the track list (similarly probably live has to be lead-off, or encore lead-off), but does throw one, if still done well thanks to frontman Nic Offer (QRO interview) being able to be intimate, a secret weapon of !!!. Yes, the group can do big, such as the killer disco duet “Storm Around the World”, or the LCD Soundsystem-like growing closing anthem, “This Is Pop 2”. But there’s also the nicely darker & sadder ‘moving on’ of “Here’s What I Need To Know”, and the intimate dance of the penultimate “Crazy Talk”.
And there’s also a kind of random disco remix of R.E.M.’s iconic ode to Andy Kaufman, “Man On the Moon”, just to pull out another curve. It’s great that !!! is still rocking, still dancing – and can still surprise.