!!! prove with this duo of covers that they are more than just a new wave dance band with political leanings. With every release the collective seem to push the boundaries of what they are capable of and this EP is no exception. Consisting of only two songs, this EP could easily have been seen as a throwaway gimmick, but instead, !!! create their own sonic landscapes out of one song by Stephen Merritt’s Magnetic Fields and another by rapper Nate Dogg.
As we all know, radical reinterpretations of songs are what make for good covers, and !!! does just that with each. “Take Ecstasy With Me” becomes a reflection of its subject matter and title, transforming into the tactile/sensory overload that comes with a hit of E. Fans of the Manchester scene will hearkened back to the days of the Factory and the drug friendly dance floors that played the Happy Mondays, the Charlatans and the Soup Dragons. Still present are the operatic strings and the bass voice that make the song easily recognizable as a Fields’ composition.
“Get Up” reminds me of how LL Cool J did an MTV Unplugged complete with a live band instead of a DJ. !!! turn this Long Beach G-Funk classic into a NY-funk groove. The singer’s voice almost becomes parody, but because he manages to stay true to the original, he never veers close enough to that cliff. Of course, in true !!! fashion, each three-to-four minute song becomes a triple length epic, as if each effort were a twelve-inch remix the first time around. At the five-and-a-half minute mark of “Get Up,” things really get crazy. It might seem premature to say that !!! get better every time out, and if they keep things up will reach legendary status, but I’ll be along for the ride either way.