Over the span of three albums, !!! has basically evolved from little more than a curiosity you might expect to hear doing funk covers at a frat party to a noisy, over-the-top pull-out-the-stops beast that seems to finally be hitting on all cylinders. After a debut that's basically fun for the random swear words and ramshackle style, the group showed some serious progress in places on the hit-or-miss Louden Up Now. If that previous album was a huge step up from their debut, then Myth Takes is just as large of a progression, with song after song of wave your hands in the air fun..
With ten tracks running just under fifty minutes, this is the most concise batch of songs that the group has ever written and they pay off in spades. The album-titled "Myth Takes" rumbles out of the gate with a brittle, post punk feel colored with eerie synth washes and nonsensical lyrics that sound almost foreboding alongside the somewhat menacing music. "All My Heroes Are Weirdos" finds the group dropping back into familiar funk-inspired territory, but it's dirtier than they've ever been, with insanely layered percussion, shards of rapid-fire guitar, and over-the-top vocals from Nic Offer.
Continuing on, there's really no missteps on the first half of the album, and track after track slams ass-locking rhythms alongside dense instrumentation with all kinds of unique flourishes. "A New Name" is a particular highlight, with clanging toy piano melodies, writhing, dirty bass and soaring synth/falsetto vocal sections that lift the track into heady dancefloor territory. The first single "Heart Of Hearts" is just as vibrant, with another gritty, swerving bass, rock-star antic vocals from Offer, and soulful female backup vocals. The whole thing culminates in a slightly-extended, noisy ending that just punishes for over two minutes.
There are a couple tracks that feel a smidge out-of-place on the release (including the goofy soul of "Sweet Life" and the orchestral weirdness of album closer "Infinifold"), but otherwise the release basically finds the group taking the best parts of their past releases and improving on them in dramatic ways. The killer "Bend Over Beethoven" is a perfect example, letting loose with two gorgeous (and clobbering) crescendos over the course of eight minutes running length. Full of surprises, Myth Takes is a huge step up from !!! and one of the better albums to come out this year so far.