Published Oct 15, 2015In the early days of !!!, members Nic Offer, Tyler Pope and Justin Van Der Volgen formed side project Out Hud as an outlet to create a sound more deeply rooted in the early 2000s electronic scene. As the Sacramento, CA dance punkers began to expand their musical range, !!! began to incorporate Out Hud's sleek aural aesthetic in their own, allowing them to take more musical chances and establish a broader, more all-encompassing sound.
On As If, the sextet's sixth release, !!! have again expanded their rubbery personality, incorporating elements of late '80s disco and hi-NRG flair. By bringing in guest vocalists Teresa Eggers, Yolanda Harris-Dancy and Teletha Manor, tracks like "All U Writers" and "Freedom! '15" are imbued with more heart, demonstrating !!!'s devotion to crafting dance music with a more human pulse. Over the album's 11 tracks, Offer and the band play around with urgency ("Sick Ass Moon"), tempo ("Ooo") and samples ("Funk (I Got This)") to help give each song a unique persona, and as on every other great !!! album, Offer injects a sizable chunk of humour and cheekiness into the material, saving tracks like "Bam City" and "I Feel So Free (Citation Needed)" from mediocrity.
On As If, !!! show that they've still got ideas, leaving listeners with one of the most enjoyable, if schizophrenic, dance albums of the year. (Warp)