Thursday 9 July 2009

Review - !!! (Chk Chk Chk) at Whelans

Whelans was turned into a sweat box yesterday night when Brooklyn dance punk band '!!!' (Pronounced Chk Chk Chk) packed the venue on one of the first dates of their european tour.

After arriving at Whelans early to catch whoever was supporting on the night, we were informed that there was no support and Chk Chk Chk would be starting at 9.15. After a few pints in the front bar with Rob and Bob of Egoeccentric we headed back into the main venue, squeezing our way through a jam packed crowd to find a suitable viewing place.

The lineup for the night seems to have been whittled down from their sometimes eight strong touring band to a more conservative six. Having only heard their their outing 'Myth Takes' and a few assorted other tracks I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of set for the night. However, this wasn't an issue as the band used the gig to showcase several new tracks. For a lot of bands this can be a risky maneuver, but for Chk Chk Chk this poses no problem. Chk Chk Chk make music you can dance to and soon have the crowd going. After playing three promising new tracks, they break into what I consider the standout track on Myth Takes 'Must Be The Moon'. Throughout the gig, Nic Offer proves to be a charismatic frontman. Spending his time strutting around the stage, diving into the crowd and throwing some (sometimes questionable) shapes. It proves hard to imagine him as the frontman of a hardcore band (He previously was in Hardcore band Yah Mos). Bass/Guitar/Electronic bleeps are handled by Tyler Pope, who has previously played with fellow New York Dance-Punk band LCD soundsystem. Pope's funky but solid basslines are what hold these songs together while guitarist Mario Andreoni's delay soaked lines add experimental textures to their sound.

After another new song, the band announce that they only have two songs left and break into eight minute epic Bend Over Beethoven. The band finish with another stand out track from Myth Takes 'Heart of Hearts'. After a minutes break and cries of one more tune, the band return to the stage for the encore 'All my heroes are weirdos'. Sensing that end is near the band manage to put even more energy into this closer, getting the already exhausted, sweat-drenched crowd back on their feet. Time is called and the band leave the stage while the crowd flood out into the street to cool down.

Basically this was one of the best gigs I've been to in quite a while. If you have the chance to see them on this tour, get up and go!

9 out of 10

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