...An album that will be cheerfully devoured by all but the most picky punk-funk diners.
Lou Thomas 2007
Brooklyn is New York City’s most populous and arguably most creative borough. In the last two decades a seemingly endless wealth of diverse talent has emerged from the area including comedian Chris Rock, fellow post-punkers Radio 4, film director Spike Lee and rapper Mos Def. All infuse their work with a characteristic toughness and keen social awareness.
Here Brooklyn-based septet Chk Chk Chk, the band’s preferred pronunciation of their exclamatory moniker, have fallen short of the social commentary, but have still managed to craft a thumping, funk-powered beast of a second album that rewards more on each listen.
Right from the off Myth Takes impresses with a title track replete with ominous synth scrapes like witches’ fingernails down a blackboard, a moody bass growl and reverb-sodden guitars. The result is a twisted groove that sounds like James Brown meeting David Lynch in a beatnik bar. After that the smartly-titled ''All My Heroes Are Weirdos'' gallops into focus with some inspired yelping from vocalist Nic Offer and is driven by some frantic, borderline cacophonous percussion. Can-tastic.
From here on what follows is almost uniformly ace. ''Heart of Hearts'' is robotic funk with guitars like scurrying mice, Bend Over Beethoven is the soundtrack to the best cop show never made and A New Name is all disconcerting lupine yelps and atmospheric dub. Elsewhere the standout track ''Must Be The Moon'' is a stompalong NYC dancefloor classic made about and for the greatest nights out of your life. Its hypnotic falsetto harmonies and cracked though relentless rhythmic certainty are as good as The Rapture’s ''Get Myself Into It'' and Radio 4’s ''Dance To the Underground''. Undoubtedly a future party anthem.
Complete excellence is avoided by the Fisher Price art-rock laziness of ''Sweet Life'', which aside from a sweet harmonised vocal outro should’ve stayed in the studio. The disjointed nature of this sophomore effort also detracts from its greatness and Chk Chk Chk aren’t saying anything new here. But that doesn’t stop this LP being a juicy, great tune pie of an album that will be cheerfully devoured by all but the most picky punk-funk diners.