Tuesday, March 5, 2024 
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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Louden Up Now
Touch And Go

When the going gets tuff, the tuff talk dirtee. Just days ago I would have said that Nic Offer's offer to President Bush ("You can tell the president to suck my fuckin' dick") was a little juvenile. Then Dick Cheney goes and drops the F-bomb on the Senate floor. You know what, !!! (chik-chik-chik) have this summer pegged.

Not that Louden Up Now, their second full-length, is a "summer record," like barbecues and box fans and layin' around. No, it's way too tense for that, bristling with alienation and inappropriate outbursts. What type of party record features an on-the-mic nervous breakdown ("Hello, Is This Thing On?") or tries to bait the mayor onto the dancefloor? That last bit is on 2003's smash single "Me & Giuliani Down by the Schoolyard," which reappears here, a 10-minute jam with the dumbest lyrics since the Happy Mondays and the best "dootle-oot-doot-doot-dooooo" breakdown since ever.

!!!'s latest foul-mouthed little nugget, "Pardon My Freedom," seems too aggressive compared with its party-hearty predecessor, but it's gonna be an aggro kind of summer in New York when a different kind of party, the Republican National Convention, rolls into town. No joke. In the meantime, smoke up, drink up, give haters the gasface, let's work up a sweat and "find a way/ to get my mind off replay, replay, replay ..."

So goes the !!! manifesto, delivered as the payload of a funkdafied smart-bomb that's one part Brooklyn, one part Madchester, guitar-meets-echo-chamber, a little Kompakt but still a little sprawling. House-music polymath Maurice Fulton, the man behind Mu's "Afro Finger and Gel," among other hot projects, chalks up an assist. You can still tick off influences (A Certain Ratio, PIL), but it's getting harder to make 'em stick as !!! pull more elements into their sound than ever before, making you realize how far this band has evolved from its indie-white-guys-play-Chic days. At the same time, Offer, their front man, has devolved, using a big pink pencil eraser to rub out the line between clever and stupid. But like any modern musician worth his salt, he comes with his own self-critique: "Does this sound intelligent? Like I give a fuckin' frick."

Well, you can't beat a fourth-grader in an argument, and you shouldn't think too hard when !!! kick out the jams. Accept those principles and you've got your soundtrack for a long, sweaty summer of soundbites. Fuck politics, let's dance — just don't forget to vote.

by Dave Renard

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