Mon July 26
10 SW 3rd
It's not completely their fault.
But with a shelf-life of only a fraction of the time we spent waiting for its release, Louden Up Now already begs for ridicule. Thrown into a way, way, way post-Brooklyn-curious-world by Touch & Go this past June, the second full length from !!! (which, for those of you with better things to do in the morning than to log onto Pitchfork, is pronounced as either "chik-chik-chik" or any sound you choose to make three times fast) doesn't genuinely mean to offend or drag its feet, but at the debt of its own bravado does so both flagrantly and often. Taking the stage a few weeks ago at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City, vocalist/tank-top enthusiast Nick Offer grabbed his crotch almost in equal proportion to how often the rhythm section made a beeline toward the stand-up congos--and while this may be a result of the guy sweating his ass off all day in the van, it also works as a pretty convenient symbolic suggestion--behind leering eyes Louden Up Now feels an awful lot like standing in front of a roomful of strangers pulling at your manhood: the first time it can be passed off as an act of triumph, but after that, it's just fucking embarrassing.
In spite of the vain political small talk on "Pardon My Freedom" ("The president can suck my dick/ Like I give a fucking frick"), the album gets lost in its posing artifice--and its obvious that no one is going to roll over to discuss foreign policy in the morning. Maybe we expected too much, maybe we should have just welcomed them as an entertaining dance band and left it at that. But then what is Louden Up Now if not the work of too many talented musicians making the same sound over and over without ever really saying a word? Punctuation?