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Music Review: 3OH!3 – Want

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3OH!3 (pronounced 3-OH!-3) is far from your ordinary band. For instance, when I downloaded the CD to my iPod it was listed as an unclassifiable genre and that is an understatement. Debuting with WANT, the twosome white-boy rap/rock duo certainly have released material worth talking about as they have mixed up elements of crunk, punk, electronica, and even emo, making for an energy overload album.

Hailing from the streets of… umm… Boulder, the duo have discarded their college educations in favor of creating some of the best crunk rock dance party tracks I have ever heard. Already debuting on the Top 10 on the iTunes album chart, the band has also gained attention from AP Magazine naming them one of AP’s one hundred bands you need to know.

3OH!3 stands for the area code that front men Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte represent. Born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, the duo met while studying physics in college and discovered one another’s love for underground hip hop. The mutual fixation for a genre of music that is rarely handled in the capitol of hippies brought the two united to create 3OH!3 and before they knew it they were selling out local clubs with their high strung dancing layered on top of their truly unique genre-bashing music.

“Punk Bitch” was the first track I heard from these guys and I must admit I thought they were a Lil John wannabe project. Not until halfway through the song did I realized this was not really a rap act but something much more entertaining. The opening to the song imitated lots of crunk music I have heard before, but as you go through the song you start to hear a blend of crunk and emo, something I did not think was possible until now. The result is an infectious track that I have listened to over and over. This gangster emo track will be getting the clubs moving for sure this year.

The third track “Don’t Trust Me” has the greatest refrain ever: “Shush girl, shut your lips. Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips.” Dance like Helen Keller? Who the hell writes something like this? How offensive… I loved it. I can only see it now, a forbidden dance called the Helen Keller created from this track. Aside from the crude lyrics talking of a no-name groupie, this track is full of danceable music that is far from annoying.

Sounding almost like what Electric Six would sound like if they collaborated with Lil John & The Eastside Boyz is “I’m Not Your Boyfriend Baby”. The electronic beats alone surpass a lot of crap I have heard in the clubs or on the radio, and once the interesting, whiny, emo cry solo was slammed with their tough ass rap lyrics I was addicted.

“Star Struck” has more of a R&B feel a la Kenna mixed with hard electronics and a beat that pretty much has been stuck in my head since I first heard the sexually suggestive song. Then there are the full on rap tracks “Choke Chain” that you will be singing along with and “Photo Finnish” that reminded me of the Faint but excessively crunked out.

Just when I thought things were insane enough, “Still Around” started up. This slow sensitive track regarding the love of a special something really proves to me these guys are not just out there to jump around and get the party rioting. The lyrics at times were predictable but the music and the idea of the song is sweet and almost depressing, especially if you have been in the situation of which they sing.

No need to be too depressed though, because “Holler 'til You Pass Out” brings back all that energy that was paused for a moment with a full blown anthem all about representing the city of Boulder. This track is tough, addictive, and fun and I wanted more once it was over.

Want might very well be the most fun CD I have heard all year and at this moment I am addicted to 3OH!3 and their crazy ass music. These guys have something a little gangster, a lot insane, and damn well genus. If you are looking for something a tad different from the norm yet catchy at the same time then 3OH!3 is where it’s at.
Already stealing the show at the 2008 Warped Tour with their high vigor, including their hilarious onstage presence, this is one band you need to experience especially if you are in need some new pickup lines to rifle off to the ladies.

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About Brian McConville

  • jwilson

    omfg these guys’ songs fu*king own… seriously if u havent heard them, find them asap. good review man

  • amii

    thys band is friggn amazing i wanna rape nate!!

  • love

    best f’in band in the world!!!!!

  • emma lank

    went and saw them in concert in des moines =]

  • kaylalishous

    hey sweetie so i hear you gay
    we should hook up some time

    i am a guy!!!

  • chris

    these guys fukin rock

  • WOOT WOOT!!!
    i live in 3oh!3 and ive been to 3 of their concerts and never been disapointed! they put on the best shows i have ever seen. being not completely huge yet their appreciation for the fans and dedication to the music really shines through. its always good to have music thats funny and gets you pumped up!

  • 3oh3sucks

    DId you sniff coke before writing this review? How can you pretend that something sounding identical to Dane Cook rapping over beats stolen from the gay club is great music? I’d bet that after you wrote this, you gave Asher Roth’s album five stars.

  • rachel

    3OH!3 is my favorite ‘band’ if you will even though they don’t play insturments..i really don’t know what to call them. they’re amazing. you can’t help but dance and memorize every word they spit. really i can’t explain how good this album is. all of their shit is amazing though. this album gives me an adrenaline rush and ive had it for almost a year now. sean and nat are great guys and they have OUTRAGEOUS shows! theyre gonna own warped tour this year. their newest song ‘first kiss’ is still in the works but i’ll be the first one to get their new album..BELIEVE ME! i love these guys. go beyond ‘dont trust me’ and listen to all of their stuff..i suggest my favorite song ‘i cant do it alone’ i hope they get more hits rather than ‘dont trust me’ and starstrukk’

  • Dan

    This is the end of western civilization. What a pity.

  • Vicky

    These guys do the kind of thing I would normally loathe, but they manage to do it with enough self awareness and musicianship that I kind of don’t.

  • godspeed beer and speed

    I went to warped tour in SF this year and this band had 2nd billing (before NOFX) on the main stage. In front of Bad Religion and Anti-Flag- I thought that was insane until I saw the gathering of the 3oh!3 fanbase (wearing identical 3Oh!3 t-shirts. I scanned the crowd expecting to see mostly kids and young teens. $$$$$$$$$$- To my dismay I saw hot chicks of all ages, buff dudes in their 20’s/30’s and even people I’d seen moshing to Bad Religion and Anti-Flag line up peacefully in anticipation of this. The band stepped out, everyone in front of me did that weird 30h!3 hand thing and my first instinct was to go get a beer. But NO ! No beer on the piers. I pushed a couple of the fans to get them riled up. One of the dudes I pushed said “Hey man, why are you pushing me ? I’m trying to enjoy the show”. He rolled his eyes, made a face and put on an emo looking hat. I didn’t want to miss NOFX, so I sat thru this garbage.
    I can agree with one thing that all you lovers’ of this band are saying, and that yes – Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips” is a funny line. Bravo- But this music is so commerical that it is actually killing punk rock. It’s not about fashion, it about being opressed by our government/society- being mad as hell about it, and responding. The idea is that you stick it to the man, not go and buy clothes endorsed by him !
    If you want there to be a punk rock/psychobilly/ska future, you have to branch out beyond what the media is feeding you ! If you want to save this music you have to look ! It is out there. Happy hunting-

  • Prins Thomas

    nothing about Colorado Sunshine?
    omg, Trainwreck, who comes up with this sh*t.
    f’ing amazing though

  • 3ohhhhhhhh3blows

    I totally agree with “3oh3” sucks. somone would have to be on drugs to feel so highly about something so poor in talent. These guys don’t even have to try to suck.

  • This band sucks really bad

  • Justpassinthrough

    3ohhhhhhh3blows: thats a funny thing because the first time I heard them I was on drugs.

  • Pretentioousssss

    lord oh lordy people.
    how can you not like 3oh!3???
    theirs music is infectious.
    like anthrax.
    i love them more than a cheesey pick up line.
    listen to their new album and you wont not be able to like them.

  • Dallas

    these guys are where its at, their music owns and I just can’t tell what kind of music it is! so beast

  • xuwancheng

    I don’t know what they sing, but I really like them –chn