The Go! Team : Thunder, Lightning, Strike

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If you’ve stayed in the know about what is going on in the music world, then there is a good chance that you’ve heard a thing or twelve about the UK sextet The Go! Team. So far they have built a good sized fan base in America as well as headlining the John Peel Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, earning a nomination for the prestigious Mercury Prize, spearheading the new bands tent at the Reading Festival, and have blown minds away at Roskilde, Fuji Rock, and South by Southwest. After a year of constant touring and receiving accolades for their extremely uhhh……fun sound, their debut album Thunder, Lightning, Strike has touched down on America’s shores that will knock all of our Yank asses to the ground.

The Go! Team has a childish twist to their music which adds a freewheeling good time to their strata. While sounding something like the mixture of Jackson Five type harmonies on the backdrop of a crowded playground full of loud kids, at the dawn of the early ’80s NYC hip-hop revolution, with some loud ass rock on an album that captures said era so much more greatly due to the superb lo-fi resonance.

“Panther Dash” is some nice car chase music which sounds ripped from an action flick or cop show from the’70s as “Everyone’s a V.I.P. to Someone” adds a hint of an old episode of Bonanza. For those who are fiends for Malcolm McLaren’s primitive mixing and scratching, brace yourself for “Ladyflash.” And if you dig the score music from the Brady Bunch, be sure to play “Feelgood by Numbers”; Greg, Peter, Bobby, Marsha, Jan, and Cindy just might come down trolloping down the stairs while Sam the Butcher is giving Alice some beef.

Back in high school I never attended pep rallies, not only because they were always held during the last two class periods (the perfect time for sneaking off the school grounds), but I never subscribed to the notion of school spirit. After all, why would I want to go to some gym where people were ranting and glorifying the jocks and popular kids? But from what I’ve seen on TV and movies I can imagine that had I been there (and the student body didn’t suck ass) it would be something like the fist pumping “We Just Won’t Be Defeated.”

Let’s talk about Ninja for a second. She is the one woman army in the The Go! Team and the voice on this soul sister can bend glass and kick some ass. Need an example? Look no further than “The Power is On” where she makes her presence known. I would like to warn all Treble readers not to listen to this track while driving an automobile because the action packed brass arrangements will make you run it off the road. Actually, I guess it’s okay to be played if you’re being chased by the cops and want to get away.

A lot of Sonic Youth comparisons have been made to the Go! Team but nowhere is that claim more valid than it is with “Junior Kickstart” where the crashing guitar licks will convince the listener that Kim Gordon’s vocal style of impending doom will set in at any second. “Bottle Rocket” will satisfy your Jones for an Oktoberfest polka mash-up as Ninja kicks up the lyrical flow on par with the early greats of such female rappers as MC Lyte and Roxanne Shante. Some sunshiny psychedelic soul is injected into the Motown sway in “Friendship Update” while “Huddle Formation” is apt for a sing a long in a nice session of Double Dutch. The variety and good-time vibes in the Go! Team’s music just goes to show that Thunder, Lightning, Strike is the most fun that you will have listening to music all year, on an album that has not only been well worth the wait in the States, but an instant classic as well.

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