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Chk Chk Chk (!!!)

Where !!!'s last release, Louden Up Now, sounded like a Ph.D. student's disconnected deconstructions of Klymaxx and post-punk, Myth Takes hews much closer to extended, almost mechanical grooves, give or take the occasional overwrought freakout of diarrhetic songs such as "Bend Over Beethoven." The act's range on Myth succeeds in making the Raptures and LCD Soundsytems of the world look extraordinarily shallow by taking rhythm as seriously as old-school jazz improvisation. Vocalist Nic Offer still makes for a somewhat awkward fit in the mix, with his concave Tiga hiss and a nagging sense that he's forever playing catch-up with the thumping sprawl of his seven bandmates. Despite the slight lead-singer wind drag, the album plays like some undiscovered white-label flipside from the early '80s, a buried electro classic that only the most discriminating DJ would bust out at the end of the evening. The Talking Heads, Prince, Cameo and even Neu! crop up in the densely layered undercurrents of drums, fiddling guitar and bacon slabs of funk, which all jockey for face time on an ambitiously groping party record.