|The Go! Team |
Audio Assault Course
When Thunder! Lightning! Strike! dropped a few years back, it was as though the entire soundtrack to every show you grew up watching in the 80s was thrown together into a reconfigured musical excess. 3 songs into it, fans were convinced that Face was gonna bust through the TV, only to be followed by Don Johnson in one of those flamboyant pink suits. Hell, even Tackleberry and Hightower somehow made their way into the consciousness when The Power Is On started. The Go! Team's throwback amplification turned heads and moved shoes, while eschewing endless genres and robbing any other band of doing first what Go! Team did.
With the success of their first album, the cheer-leading squad hit the road for the ever-important tour/sell-shit spectacle. Intent on making the most of their American adventure, they hit up numerous radio stations to throw down some live tracks. Audio Assault Course follows Brighton's best import since Graham Green made it famous for a wild teenager back in the days of modernism.
Images of The Go! Team crew rolling into radio stations at 9 am to throw down some trumpet-laden madness is enough to get excited about, but hearing Ninja spit her UK venom at such an early hour is even more of a treat. Sure, this isn't as good as Thunder! Lightning! Strike!, but fans of the band will no doubt find something to love on this album. But radio sessions never turn out perfect and to expect such results is foolish. Most bands aren't use to hauling their Marshall stacks into control rooms to give on-air recordings at ungodly hours, so if Ninja's voice cracks and wheeps at points and if the drums sound a little off time and wobbly, its more of a situational error than a fault of the band.
‘We Just Won't Be Defeated' sounds more Washington protest than UK dance squad as Ninja and Kaori Tsuchida both share equal responsibility for the poor quality. More than any other member, Ninja both elevates this album and sinks it. At times, her freeform hollers to Seattle and Santa Barbara are those of a drunk girl at karaoke, but more often she's her throbbing, wheezing, rhyming lead vocalist, taking the band through the better songs with flare and excess and telling listeners, "if you're driving, you should be grooving while you're driving"
If by chance, this is your first foray into the chaotic frenzy of the best UK import since AbFab, then perhaps its best to pick up their first album and check out the numerous pirated videos on Youtube to get a glimpse of what you're hearing (and missing).
- Darren Susin | 2006-05-31
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