!!!, 'Strange Weather, Isn't It?' (Warp)

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Strange Weather, Isn't It?
Critical Mass
Label: Warp

by Josh Modell

Bits of darkness invade !!!'s first album in three years, and it's a dangerous supplement for a band whose foundation is winking, boisterous funk. When the slink doesn't get too murky, as on "AM/FM" and the cheery "Steady as the Sidewalk Cracks," the nighttime vibe pays off. When the fun gets left behind ("Hollow," "Jump Back"), little remains except a pleasant-but-purposeless bass groove. The sonic expansion is admirable, but perhaps a trip to Miami -- instead of Berlin, where some of Weather was recorded -- might've been a better atmospheric adjustment.

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