“Skins” isn’t the only insane import from across the pond hitting the states recently. Enter The Go! Team, a British powerhouse group ready to take the U.S. by storm with its third studio album, Rolling Blackouts. Like the characters from the provocative British television show, the latest album from The Go! Team parties until it blacks out. Back with more hard-hitting melodies and trash bag party antics, The Go! Team is ready for some fun. The album features special guests like Deerhoof’s Satomi Matsuzaki and Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino, adding even more pizzazz to the festive album.
The Go! Team
Not much has changed since the band’s last record, 2007’s Proof of Youth — seriously, almost nothing. The tracks on its older album could easily be substituted for those on the newest, and vice versa.
The head-banging band strikes with loud, baroque tracks and playful beats. Rolling Blackouts starts off as a bundle of hipster-hop fun with “T.O.R.N.A.D.O.” — a playground chant mix led by Nkechi Ka Egenamba, a vocalist who goes by Ninja, backed by a marching band. It has the energy of a high school football game, warped into a song.
The energetic bash doesn’t end there. “Apollo Throwdown” packs a punch with a glittery dance backing track and a sparkling beat. It sounds like a subdued M.I.A., but has enough spunk to rival Gwen Stefani. Though these tracks are fun to listen to, the band veers a bit off-course. Many of the songs on Rolling Blackouts have this type of party-hardy-all-day-long sound. But then the album rolls into a deeper, more discreet feel. It’s almost bipolar.
Rolling Blackouts starts off as a lively, urban garage mixture and then transitions itself into a lo-fi, woodsy hyper-ballad. Instrumental tracks break up the album and send it away from the busy, sound-heavy city setting into a more rural place with trumpets and fiddles. “Yosemite Theme” is earthy with an authoritative feel of force and strength — like a Yosemite ranger.
The patchwork of styles on the album may throw a few listeners off. Rolling Blackouts is schizophrenic when trying to figure out its overall identity. The Go! Team is just another pack of crazy British kids with a sole purpose of going nuts with neon and partying away, and it should just stay this way. Seriously, who does the band think it’s kidding with this new, softer sound?
Listeners have to give The Go! Team credit, though. The motley bunch of hipster rock stars does show off an artistic range. The Go! Team crew knows how to put together melodies without being too intense. An album filled with party-starters like “T.O.R.N.A.D.O.” and “Bust-Out Brigade” may be too much for some to handle. The band juxtaposes these tracks with tuneful numbers like the Best Coast-like “Buy Nothing Day.”
One day The Go! Team may grow out of its crazy ways and completely change its style, successfully mellowing out into a quieter tone. But for now, the band is still pulling out the hair-raisers and club-bangers with a city-tastic kick.