The early 2000s was a golden age for alternative dance music, but where plenty have fallen by the wayside and become nothing more than #indieamnesty anecdotes, !!! – pronounced Chk Chk Chk, are still about, having just released their seventh record; Shake The Shudder.
Groovy bangers have always been something Chk Chk Chk pride themselves on, and album opener The One 2, continues this noble tradition. The carefully calculated beats and skulking bass work together harmoniously, were the band more notorious in mainstream circles then The One 2; and indeed many other album cuts, could be huge hits for the band. Each new intro brings a fresh and exciting journey in a classic sound that is having new life breathed directly into it.
Dancing Is The Best Revenge may be the greatest song title of recent times. It has a bass-line that somewhere has Dev Hynes of Blood Orange wishing he had got there first. Chk Chk Chk make the kind of tunes people find themselves absentmindedly dancing to in festival dance tents at 6am, they’re utterly genius but inevitably; and sadly, overlooked. Other titles such as Throw Yourself In The River and Throttle Service are indicative of a band who focus on fun rather than taking themselves seriously, and are much better for it. The latter presenting itself as a Crystal Fighters song on acid.
There are nods to the disco era throughout this album, none more so apparent than on Imaginary Interviews, a sparkly slightly spoken word track that oozes sequins and big hair from it’s core. Our Love (U Can Get) shares a disco heart that is likely to inspire live crowds to throw some considerably funky shapes.
Ending on the calypso-tinged R Rated Pictures, Chk Chk Chk tone down the intensity somewhat to turn the end of night lights back on to let everyone know it’s time to go home. The Red Stripe clutching crowds will no doubt be looking a little bleary eyed at this point, so Chk Chk Chk invite you to chill out a little and enjoy their more mellow side.
Hopefully, more people hit play on Shake The Shudder, because come the end of the record it’s likely the collective shouts of “this record is really good why aren’t more of these songs on the radio!”, will be able to shake some sense into those still living Chk Chk Chk-less lives.