Bi-coastal dance/rock ensemble !!! (pronounced "chik chik chik") is about to hit the studio to begin work on its highly anticipated debut full-length for Touch & Go.

Bi-coastal dance/rock ensemble !!! (pronounced "chik chik chik") is about to hit the studio to begin work on its highly anticipated debut full-length for Touch & Go. Guitarist Mario Andreoni tells Billboard.com the set should be released in early 2004. The eight-piece group made its Touch & Go bow in June with the single "Me and Giuliani Down by the Schoolyard," which debuted at No. 16 on Billboard's Dance Singles Sales chart.

"The first order of the band is groove," Andreoni says. "The stuff we're hopefully working on is going to sound dirtier and go toward the unexpected. We all really like the element of surprise in music -- things you don't expect to happen. That's why I think it takes us so long to write songs, because we want to make sure all of our ideas are fully represented."

The group is also considering turning over finished tracks to outside collaborators. First on their wishlist is Playgroup mastermind Trevor Jackson. "We don't really know what track yet and I don't think he necessarily knows what he'd be getting either," Andreoni offers.

!!! shares several members with like-minded outfit Out Hud, which is at work on the follow-up to its acclaimed 2002 debut "S.T.R.E.E.T. D.A.D." Andreoni says he isn't concerned if both !!! and Out Hud wind up releasing new albums around the same time. "It doesn't matter to me at all," he says. "We haven't gotten to that point where things are held because of various industry reasons, which I hope to never have to experience."

In between work on the new album, !!! will appear Sept. 26 at the Wire/Adventures in Modern Music festival at Chicago's Empty Bottle. A host of other forward-looking acts will also be on hand, including Black Dice, Adult., Lightning Bolt and Michael Gira.

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