Is it punk? Is it electronica? Hell, is it anything classifiable?
The Lab Remix Series Vol.2 split EP, comprised of four tracks and lasting exactly thirty minutes, is a re-release of Outhud and !!!’s 1999 twelve-inch EP of remixes. Entirely mixed in late 1999 by Justin Vandervolgen, who’s a member of both bands, the EP is an interesting journey that spends nearly two-thirds of its entirety on three variations of a single track by Outhud. These five- to seven-minute, cello-laden numbers could almost be considered fairly solid electronic songs, though they are ambiguously too complex or too simple to be considered such. The trio is also too mellow to be considered “dance punk,” though there is a recent calling for “instrumental sway punk” in the music industry as of late …
… And then there was !!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk), which shares several members with Outhud. The band’s name spells excitement, and with good reason. “Instinct,” the fourth track and !!!’s only song on the EP, is the most engaging track on the album, despite being just one second short of twelve minutes long. This band undoubtedly qualifies as dance punk, and through all eleven minutes and fifty-nine seconds of this lonely track, you’ll find yourself dancing like mad. If you’re not a dancer, your frontal lobe will throb inside your head, crying out, “You loser! Let’s prance like it’s 1999!” It’s true — my brain actually said these exact words to me as “Instinct” played at a high volume.
Nic Offer’s vocals are so subtle on this final track that you will more than likely tune out any sort of urge to search for lyrical content. Don’t bother; !!! is all about musical bliss, and though there are hardly any comprehensible lines to search for, there is a fair number of gasps, moans, and “uhn”s to make you excited about early Salt ‘N Pepa all over again.
This EP is a blast to listen to, and provides a refreshing change from the usual indie rock and pop that we music geeks are typically exposed to. Kind of like finding a solitary can of Fresca within an ice chest of Coke. Yeah, Fresca. Ahh.