The Go! Team is an apt name for this Brighton-based sextet. It’s perfect because from the beginning of the track list to the end of the album, Rolling Blackouts, the music just … goes.
It has little rhyme or reason to it, and for the most part, it is utterly incomprehensible. They splice together numerous genres into a continuum of experimental tracks: pop-rock with indie clutter, some show tune glamour with a tad of old-school rap, all garnished with a heavy dose of energetic lead vocalist Ninja. However, The Go! Team is not a band know for great production value or musical sophistication. Rather, they are a low-fi gem who create a schizophrenic sound in search of neither acclaim nor fame.
Rolling Blackouts is The Go! Team’s third album and the first one released after a four year interim. However, it does not seem as if The Go! Team spent these four years meticulously working on the album, which sounds more like a 42-minute jam session. The Go! Team will definitely satisfy their existing fans. They seem to be making little effort to expand their base, which is not a bad thing.
Blackouts is full of fun, energetic and dynamic songs that start at a blistering pace and seem to never slow down. “T.O.R.N.A.D.O,” the first song on the track list, evokes its namesake. With nothing but a synthetic base line and rapping of a British woman to power it, “T.O.R.N.A.D.O” is chaotic and swirling. “Apollo Throwdown” picks up where “T.O.R.N.A.D.O” left off. It starts with a punch, and then goes into a funky chanting ‘70s disco/pop-rock track that, like most tracks on this album, cannot be placed into a single genre.
True to their schizophrenic tendencies, The Go! Team follows “Apollo Throwdown” with an upbeat pop-rock and bell-infused “Ready to Go Steady,” which has the lyrics of a ‘50s love song. Then there is “Super Triangle” which is an easygoing instrumental that nicely combines synch-pop elements with an acoustic backing, making it a perfect song for studying or relaxing. Sadly, as the listener progresses through the album, songs seem to replicate earlier songs in the track list. For instance, “Voice Yr Choice” is a slightly tweaked “Apollo Throwdown.” Nothing new arises until the listener reaches the namesake of the album, “Rolling Blackouts.” The track starts off with a punk rock intro and then moves into a high energy pop-rock bit accompanied by heavy drums in the background. The Go! Team also throws in some electric influences for good measure.
The Go! Team’s Rolling Blackouts is an interesting and exciting listen full of small surprises and small letdowns. But the Go! Team can definitely stake a claim to being unique and are worth a listen.