!!!: Strange Weather, Isn't It?
As one of the sole remaining bands from the early aughts, dance-punk vogue that also spawned the Rapture and Radio 4, one likely wouldn't expect !!! to release anything resembling a game-changer at this point. So it's hard to fault Strange Weather, Isn't It? for sounding so safe. It's much easier to fault it for being a bore. Chintzy hi-hat hits and paltry vocal half-hooks abound on !!!'s fourth record, which draws corporeal inspiration from dub, dance and German techno, but still manages to sound like, well, early aughts dance-punk - a fad that crumbled for a reason. The good ideas on Strange Weather fall victim to !!!'s stubborn reliance on a single-speed dance beat, song after song. While two mid-tempo exceptions - "Hollow" and "Jump Back" - prove to be the album's best cuts, they also serve to showcase the rest of Strange Weather's hollow sameness. As an extended DJ mix, it's fine for a late-night club, but not all that appealing on the home stereo. (2 out of 5 stars)