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Rolling Blackouts
The Go! Team Rolling Blackouts
Released 28 January 2011

The Go! Team, Gareth Parton
Label Memphis Industries
Length 40:40
Genre Indie, alternative
Website www.thegoteam.co.uk

The energetic Brightonian six-piece that is The Go! Team release their first album in almost three years and it will not disappoint those who have come to enjoy their hybrid mix of indie guitars, rap vocals and brassy grooves.

Yes there are musical exclamation marks everywhere (!) on Rolling Blackouts, as the band slide from genre to genre with nothing but the music’s positive energy to provide a linear streak throughout the thirteen tracks.

Opening track 'T.O.R.N.A.D.O' combines break-beats and helium-infused rapping in an unspectacular, but undeniably pleasant early offering. But as the album unfurls you begin to appreciate the scope, that The Go! Team are aiming to pull off here!

'Ready to Go Steady' sounds like Cathy Davey auditioning for the Beach Boys in a 1950s cabana studio. (If there isn’t such a thing then there really should be). And its innocence lies not only within the schmaltzy lyrics "Yeah we’ve only just met but I’m ready to go steady." But also in the production whereby you could conceivably believe that you have sand in your speakers.

We go from this directly to 'Bust Out Brigade' and suddenly there’s more brass around than Shirley Bassey’s Greatest Hits sitting on a tin of Brasso. The song has all the hallmarks of Ms Pacman, a previous Go! Team offering that was regularly used for TV purposes due to its “upbeat” nature. Although not as instantly memorable as Ms Pacman, the song nevertheless will put a smile on your face in jig-time, for no particular reason at all.

But then we have songs such as the title track and the debut single 'Buy Nothing Day' that wear the band’s love of Sonic Youth so blatantly that somewhere Kim Gordon’s ears must have been burning when the tracks were being recorded.

So are The Go! Team brave, ambitious or just really indecisive?

This album is like a musical box of Quality Street; the songs are all very brightly coloured, the names on the package give you no idea what to expect and the only real way to find out is to chow down and hope for the best. After all, chocolate is chocolate.

As enjoyable a ride as it is, you can’t help but feel that their genre hopping, and emphasis on soundscape rather than lyrical content could ultimately work against the band. Not that pigeon-holing is a requirement, but as you get into the meat of the record, you begin to think that this is music to be socially enjoyed rather than individually appreciated.

By that I mean that this could well be the coolest album that you spin at a party in 2011, or indeed the bones of a great live set, but I’m not sure how regularly you’ll scroll for it on your iPod as you sit on the bus.

Foremostly Rolling Blackouts, like The Go! Team is a whole lot of fun. You would have to be as mean-spirited as they come not to find a few nuggets of joy upon this album. Whether it is merely a passing fancy or something more steady is entirely up to you.

The Go! Team play The Academy on March 5th.

- D. Egan