!!! (Chk Chk Chk)

Having a name like !!! has raised all sorts of issues for the (mostly) Brooklyn-based seven-piece dance-punk troupe, with myriad pronunciation problems ensuing over the years. In an adaptation of subtitled lines from the seminal Eighties comedy, The Gods Must Be Crazy, the band's name is properly pronounced using any three repeating sounds. How's that for personalizing your fan base?

Name troubles aside, !!! is a fantastically original band that juxtaposes angular vocals and guitars with a groove-oriented rhythm section -- post-millennial Big Audio Dynamite, if you will. On Louden Up Now, singer Nic Offer proffers a distinctly Yank take on Mick Jones's snarly call to arms, but by no means is he derivative. His personality comes through, er, loud and clear on politically charged missives such as "Pardon My Freedom" and "Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard (A True Story)." A twelve-inch version of the latter firmly entrenched the group in the new dance underground, garnering play from techno heads and indie rockers alike upon its release last spring and drawing comparisons with that other New York rock outfit, the Rapture. But the similarities between the two are incidental at best; !!! revels in sprawling affairs that are more like a wild loft-party jam session than the short and sharp sounds favored by the DFA's progeny.

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Roy Dank