Monday, December 17, 2007

The 20 Best Albums of 2007 - !!!: "Myth Takes"

18. 2007 was the year !!! seemed to mature into a band that knows exactly what they are. Like so many artists that gained notoriety during the "Dance Punk" new wave of 2004, !!! got noticed via an infectious single ("Me and Guiliani Down by the School Yard") that made the rounds in hipster clubs across the country. That initial success gave way to a 'debut' album (actually, it was their second but most people have never heard their self-titled release) that sounded more like a collection of singles than one cohesive work, leaving some to think (including myself) that perhaps the band would fade away once the attention focused on Dance Punk shifted elsewhere.

Three years later they returned with a follow-up album that addressed all the weak points of Louden Up Now without compromising the singular element that makes !!! interesting in the first place. Mainly, that their sound can blow the woofers off any pair of speakers you have. Each song on Myth Takes stands on its own as dance party-worthy, yet they sound best when listened within the context of the album. There's a continuity in how every track flows into the next (especially "Must Be the Moon" and "A New Name"), where the party gets more raucous with each passing song.

The word raucous couldn't be more appropriate, since !!! are at their core a band who enjoy going absolutely ape shit every time they take the stage. We've always known that, but on Myth Takes they finally show they're more structured and deliberate than we gave them credit for.

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