Verdict: The party gets serious
This energetic Californian group, so alternative they insist their name (said "Chk chk chk") is written as just three exclamation marks, nutted out their fourth album below a Berlin nightclub.
That comes across in the sharp-as-knives undercurrent - but don't worry, they're not changing the pronunciation of their name to "Unce unce unce".
The record oozes the soul/funk of previous albums and friendly quirkiness of singer Nic Offer's sometimes guttural, sometimes nasally vocals. Opening with their single AM/FM - a variety of dirty bass, warm tropical synths and icy vocals - the six-piece proceed to mix the aloofness of Germany with pop choruses.
Barry White vocals accompany the next feelgood dance track. As it progresses, fuzz and distortion cast a cold shadow over the album and Offer starts to sound like more of a defiant rocker, the kind who would jut out his chin, only to suddenly throw in layers of Brazilian party and happy tambourine. Elsewhere the groaning Hollow sounds just that and Even Judas Gave Jesus a Kiss is a mumbo jumbo mix of angry rock, soul and dance with smatterings of gospel choir backing vocals.
Sure the album has industrial dark moments, but overall the shorter, snappier songs are the band's poppiest yet.
-TimeOutBy Jacqueline Smith Email Jacqueline