- Audio CD (23 Aug. 2010)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Warp
- ASIN: B003NRYBFM
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,999 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Strange Weather, Isn't It? CD
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Strange Weather, Isn't It? could have been more like a wake than an album. The deflated members of !!! sat on sofa-arms, feet shuffling, politely nibbling sausage rolls. It had good reason to be.
The punk-funk flotilla, led by lynchpin Nic Offer, have endured a bruising time since the release of 2007's Myth Takes. First there was the acrimonious departure of founder member John Pugh during recording, and then at the tail end of 2009 the death of touring drummer Jerry Fuchs. The 34-year-old fell down a lift-shaft whilst attending a warehouse party in Brooklyn.
Whilst he's at pains not to discuss those turbulent times – particularly Fuchs – Offer's made it quite clear that !!! remains business-as-usual. In that sense, the decade-young collective continue to be one of the planet's premier good-time bands. With that in mind, and like so many others in recent memory, they de-camped to Berlin to take a toke on the city's inexhaustible party-pipe to regain some hedonistic inspiration. You’d think then, it’d be plough-through-the-pain adventure. But not so.
Brush away a little top-spoil and you'll find what is the punk-funksters most emotive album yet. First, the title, Strange Weather, Isn't It?. Offer admits is lifted from a line in a film where a couple face each other and, in an awkward attempt to make conversation, reference the encroaching storm. “Maybe if I ran in into certain members I would say, ‘strange weather, isn’t it?’” he said recently, referencing Pugh.
The biggest clue comes in the album’s general musical atmosphere. !!! have always been at their best when they've been loose, off-the-leash, wiggin' out. Only The Hammer really does that here. Instead, there's something a little muted, hurried and shackled about tracks like AM/FM, Wannagain Wannagain and Hollow. The Most Certain Sure is also uncharacteristically concise.
It's as if Offer, completely understandably, has pulled everything towards him a little too close. Reined everything in and hugged the songs a little too tightly. Previous efforts like 2004’s Louden Up Now and 2007’s Myth Takes were indebted to the loft-party spirit of seedy 80s NYC; but this goes back a little further, with an almost 70s funk vibe.
It might not be their best album to date, but after all that’s happened we should probably just be pleased that they've not pulled the plug on the party forever.--Greg Cochrane
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Dance music created not by keyboards, but by a rotating cast of world-class percussionists, guitarists and rhythmic geniuses. The vocals and lyrics simply accent the mix: grunts, chants, ramblings and amputated musings are favored over anything remotely croony or emo. There's not a single long distance dedication-worthy lyrical passage in their catalog. Their songs will never be the theme to your prom - but they will keep most every dance floor on the planet moving til the point of sweaty, exhausted collapse. Personally, I can never tell when one song stops and the next starts. Nor do I ever care to find out.
This album moves !!! closer to a pop sound than ever before. Female vocalists accent the mix on several songs. The musings are somewhat coherent. But this is still way to edgy for the masses - don't expect a Justin Bieber cameo anytime soon.
If you're looking for a great companion to the LCD Soundsystem, Ladytron, Ratatat and Trans AM in your iPod, this is the album for you. Start here and then work your way back into their incredible catalog.
Back to basics is the flagship race of this wonderful album.
Recorded in Berlin (PERFECT !!!), Strange Weather Isn't It? represents a transitional period for the band. John Pugh, Justin Vandervolgen and Tyler Pope each exited the band prior to its release, which contributed to the change in the band's dynamic. And that change is reflected in the title as well. Built largely upon the framework that made the band's prior three albums such highly enjoyable disco-punk gems in their own right, Strange Weather strips away some of the rock elements in their sound in favor of a sleeker, more electronics heavy production rife with elements of dub and house. These elements loom large on first single "AM/FM," a disco nightcrawler that layers on echo effects and hypnotic, pulsing electro. At its heart, it's a !!! song, just a little more sinister, which makes it just a little more fun.
Without going into the conventions !!! brings his new work, which invites us to dance at once, full of excellent bass rhythms", hypnotic guitars (as we are accustomed to, but this time much better).
They're still thumping out the same grooves that have been steaming up clubs for the past decade. But at the same time, !!! has embraced new elements and evolved since their early days of bolstering punk rock with disco beats.
Strange Weather, Isn't It? stimulates pleasure zones and sends the pulse racing yet again, but don't be surprised if it's followed by a sudden chill.
In my opinion (very personal) as an individual must have a deep respect for art and to artists, especially those who make music, are very difficult times for the music industry and artists who compose, create an image and sustainable over time substance into the music it's hard work and I think !!! are AWESOME artists who have made an amazing job, nurtured in the way and time by many streams and flourish in this new album a lot of them, this new album is spectacular!!!, full of interesting moments, my respect and admiration for entertain us, make us happy ( or melancholy), and especially for making us feel, which is a core mission of the music (opining personally) and once again thanks for make us DANCE !!!, my deepest respects to you guys.
!!! ARE THE BEST...
"Strange Weather, Isn't It" (2010 release; 9 tracks; 41 min.) kicks off with an immediately appealing "AM/FM", followed by "Most Certain Sure", which will get many on the dance floor. "Wannagain Wannagain" is for me the only "off" track on this collection, and I usually just skip it. Then comes the ironically titled "Jamie, My Intentions Are Bass" (with the smile-inducing chorus "Jamie my intentions are bass/I just want to put some flowers/Wanna put them right in your vase", ha!). Starting with track 5, each and every song is a winner, one better than the other. Check out the wild and groove-heavy "Steady As the Sidewalk Cracks", probably my favorite track on the album. Other highlights on the album for me are "Jump Back" and the closer "The Hammer". In all, what a fantastic album!
I've had the good fortune of seeing !!! in concert several times again this year (my first time seeing them live since 2008 when they were touring in support of "Myth Takes"), and for whatever reason the band pretty much ignores this album, usually playing only 1 track from it ("Jamie My Intentions Are Bass"), instead heavily playing from of course this year's "Thr!!!er" album and also a good amount from "Myth Takes". Why that is, I have no idea, as "Strange Weather" is a strong album as well. !!!'s live shows are a dance party from start to finish, with fun all but guaranteed for everyone. If you have a chance to see them live, do not miss them! Meanwhile, "Strange Weather, Isn't It", is a very nice album on its own.