Dance music has come back even in indie, and one of the big aspects of that was the dance-punk movement around such acts as LCD Soundsystem and !!!. While James Murphy called it quits on LCD after his triumphant This Is Happening (QRO review) in 2010, !!! kind of coasted on their reputation in the same year with Strange Weather, Isn’t It? (QRO review). However, they’ve now upped their game in different ways on THR!!!ER, as they go even more dance.
One of the main pillars of !!! has always been the hyperactive live performance (QRO live review) by singer Nic Offer, and that easily translates even onto record with opener “Even When the Water’s Cold”, a noticeably more disco-funk piece than previous !!!. Throughout THR!!!ER, the band explores their dance style, such as funk, bass-rhythm on the following “Get That Rhythm Right”, sly club mix “Slyd”, dark and distant “Careful”, and even a return to their dance-punk origins in the strong closer “Station (Meet Me at the)”. The funk side is probably the best, as it’s the most interesting (electro-sly “Fine Fine Fine” is too serious for this unserious band, and “Careful” goes on a bit too long), but also because it gives Offer some choice lines, another strong suit of his – “I miss California / Almost much as I miss you / But why would I live somewhere / Where the bars close at two?” lays to rest why the Sacramento act moved to the Big Apple in “Californiyeah”.
With the indie-dance scene so much larger these days, !!! could never be the big fish in the small pond that they once were. But now they’ve grown as dance expands into the ocean.