Me and Guiliani Down by the School Yard

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!!!'s 2003 single Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard (A True Story) vaulted the group to the very forefront of the latest wave of punk-disco bands. Over the nine-plus minutes it takes "Me and Giuliani" to unwind, the band investigates every aspect of the tremendously funky groove and lets Nic Offer's mumbled vocals (very Strummer without the razorblades) weave in and out like a punch-drunk fighter (or like a relatively sober Shaun Ryder). Every couple minutes there are breakdowns in which Offer bursts into "Footloose," and there's another at the very end that cuts out everything but the background vocals and some mighty handclaps. "Intensifieder Sunracapellectrohshit Mix 03" is more insistent with Offer's vocals very up-front in the mix. The groove is tighter and the production borrows some vocal-splicing and beat-twisting techniques from techno. While the Rapture and to a lesser extent Radio 4 made off with all the headlines, !!! was making the best music of all the retro-punk-disco dancers.

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