Dance-punk crusaders !!! (pronounced "chk chk chk") have evolved subtly over the years, though there's nothing subtle about their jubilant stage show or frontman Nic Offer's sanguine persona. All of the above will be on display Wednesday when the veteran party-rockers test out new material in the cozy confines of Ace of Cups.

Dance-punk crusaders !!! (pronounced "chk chk chk") have evolved subtly over the years, though there's nothing subtle about their jubilant stage show or frontman Nic Offer's sanguine persona. All of the above will be on display Wednesday when the veteran party-rockers test out new material in the cozy confines of Ace of Cups.

The original plan was for !!! to close the book on 2011 touring in late summer after wrapping up promotions for last year's "Strange Weather, Isn't It?" But at the last minute they added a week of shows in unusually small venues to whittle down their bumper crop of new material.

"The idea was like 'We got all these new songs.' We're going to kind of just push them out of the nest and see which ones fly,'" Offer said.

The best of the bunch will make the cut for the band's next album. They began recording sessions in Austin last month with Spoon drummer Jim Eno, who may end up producing the entire album if scheduling allows.

"We felt like it was a good creative match. We felt like he was really good for our sound," Offer said. "The things he's done with Spoon really work well applied to dance music - the space and minimalism of it, the creativity of the sound."

Formed in 1996 in Sacramento and now based primarily in Brooklyn, !!! was fueling disco beats with punk-rock energy long before ascending in the underground consciousness as part of the dance-punk craze early last decade.

It's been eight years since their epic contortion bomb "Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard (A True Story)" - long enough for peers The Rapture to get famous, break up and reunite - but !!! never really went away. They've transformed, though, staying fresh in part through adding and subtracting members over the years.

"Each new person has brought in a new change to the group that's always brought it to another level and kept it fun between us as well," Offer said. "It's like the new person in the band is always like the new puppy."

Offer didn't offer much sense of what to expect from the new music other than it covers the full scope of !!!'s career. Depending on which songs they decide to keep, the next record could be the most club-oriented or the most rock-oriented of the band's career. However it turns out, it will probably make for a hell of a party.

"When you do something that long, two things can happen. You can kind of get better than ever or just can just get bored of it and get tired and start to suck," Offer said. "That's just not in the cards for us yet."

Photo by Lane Coder