Deriving their name from the subtitles of the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy, in which the clicking sounds of the Bushmen’s Khoisan language were represented as “!,” and currently comprised of founding member and vocalist Nic Offer with Mario Andreoni, Dan Gorman, Paul Quattrone, !!! (pronounced chk-chk-chk) originally formed in Sacramento CA when members of three local bands, The Yah Mos, Black Licorice and Popesmashers, decided to collaborate together on a project that would mesh disco, funk and dance music with more aggressive post punk and punk. Relocating to NYC, the members of !!! quickly became part of a famous batch of dance punk acts, who got their start in the early 00s including The Rapture, LCD Soundsystem and a lengthy list of others; but unlike their renowned peers and counterparts, they’ve managed to remain operating as a cohesive unit — although the band’s members now reside in NYC, Sacramento and Portland, OR.
Shake The Shudder, !!!’s sixth full-length effort is slated for a May 19, 2017 release through Warp Records and the album continues their collaboration with long-time producer Patrick Ford at the band’s Brooklyn-based home studio. Renowned electronic music producers Phil Moffa, Joakim and Matt Wiggins were recruited to mix the album and adding to the overall communal feel, the album features a rotating cast of guest vocalists including Lea Lea, Meah Pace, Nicole Fayu, Cameron Mesirow and Molly Schnick. Already, the album’s first single “The One 2,” which has seen airplay on BBC Radio 6, KCRK and KEXP has seen 400,000 streams, and building upon the buzz that the first single received, the act has released the album’s second and latest single “Dancing Is The Best Revenge” is a self-assured and sultry strutting song that nods at classic disco, funk, classic house and contemporary electro pop-like production while possessing one of the funkiest bass lines I’ve heard this year.
Directed by Will Galperin, the recently released video for “Dancing Is The Best Revenge” feature’s !!!’s Nic Offer with a collective of some fierce, take no prisoner drag queens — Kamryn Moore-Fierce, Nikki Moore, Makena Moore and Phoebe Monroe De La Strawberry strutting and dancing their asses off to the song. But perhaps more important, the video captures the performers camaraderie, pride and decency as they transform themselves to perform. And from the video, these ladies are a crazy, dysfunctional family — but a family in which every member accepts and loves their quirks and foibles, and offers the sort of love and understanding that they wouldn’t have received from their own biological families.
Interestingly, as Nic Offer explains in press notes, “When we recorded ‘Dancing Is The Best Revenge’ I pitched up voice, becoming Nicole Fayu in the studio — much like Prince became Camille and Morrisseey became Ann Coates. The groove felt like a strut or a walk and I imagined it akin to drag or ballroom culture.
“After ‘The One 2’ video featured such strong dance performances and was filmed in the historic L.A. venue Jalisco, we decided to give the song to some girls, who could really walk the walk and perform the song as in the spirit of reinvention. We traded some outfits and makeup tips, and they helped me become IRL Nicole Fayu. Dancing with them was a blast, and it was a great to finally see the song walked. I’m not used to being out-performed in a video.”
“These ladies ignore a world that tells them who they should be — they take the stage, walking as whoever they want to be, and that’s their best revenge. Maybe you’ll never walk onstage, maybe you’ll never be anyone else, but maybe this song/vid/story inspires you to try something you haven’t before.” Along with that though, is a very powerful message that being your truest self and not caring what anyone else thinks is arguably one of the simplest yet most revolutionary acts. And in a political climate in which their community is being attacked, the love these ladies show for one another, their pride and their zero fucks attitude towards life should truly be inspiring.