!!! - Louden Up Now

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:2004-06-07

There's been a buzz about !!! Chk Chk Chk for a while now and thankfully their debut full-length album, Louden Up Now, doesn't disappoint. Like Electric 6 promised with "Danger! High Voltage" or to some extent the Scissor Sisters, their style is somewhere between dance music, guitar-rock and disco. All of the songs here have a sturdy rhythm section of drums, bass and choppy guitar with everything else given free reign to go off and be progressive. The vocals are loud and edgy with more than a hint of wryness in the lyrics. On "Pardon My Freedom", a foul-mouth rant about freedom of speech (or possibly Tourette's Syndrome), he quips "tell the Christians I'm taller than Jesus" whereas "Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard" likens the former mayor of New York to the dance-hating preacher from the film Footloose (complete with quotes from the title song).

Louden Up Now is very accessible while remaining excitingly different and packed with surprises. The band amply demonstrate a "karazzee" sense of humour and irreverence to music yet never fall foul to the trap of becoming a gimmick or novelty act. --David Trueman

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