Review By Helen Brown
– Rolling Blackouts (Bonus Track Version)
Rolling Blackouts, the third release from British band The Go! Team, can be best described as a breath of fresh, salty sea air. The tracks are energetic and empowering, the kind of album you would take with you on a short road trip adventure. The Go! Team exhibit undertones of Regurgitator’s electronica phase, circa 1997 to 1999.
Their first song, ‘T.O.R.N.A.D.O.,’ is a hip hop-laced number about moving your body to the beat. It is punchy right from the start with no soft introduction to ease you in. The tracks ‘Secretary Song’ and ‘Bust-Out-Brigade’, sound very much like theme songs from sitcoms and crime shows with the use of cheerful clap-along beats and synthesised siren sounds respectively.
The vibe throughout the album is generally to be happy within yourself, enjoy life and have fun with the people around you.
‘Buy Nothing Day’ sports the vocals of Bethany Cosentino from the group Best Coast, and is yet another chilled track saying loudly and proudly that it is pointless sitting and waiting for life to come to you: “Nothing came today, nothing will tomorrow” and “won’t start no revolutions but we’re giving it a whirl.” Rolling Blackouts contains multi-genre influences, combining superhero-style theme music with twangs of modern country, as well as middle of the road and grunge-infused sounds. There is also a slow-paced, comparatively mellow and almost sombre instrumental number in ‘Lazy Poltergeist’ as well as ‘Yosamite Theme’ which uses a classical brass and harp combination. These instrumental tracks temporarily break up the relentless energy but despite the sudden change in pace, the album still manages to flow together seamlessly.
Rolling Blackouts finishes on a high note with ‘Black Like 8 Track,’ the steel drums inspiring a natural urge to disappear to a new place you have never explored. There is only one hitch in this otherwise delightful album: the massive walls of sound, catchy groove beats and constant handclapping – while fun and charming – seem to push the lyrics into the background and display the vocals as mere white noise or repetitive chanting on the horizon. If this was their intention, it is hit and miss and in this instance, a stronger balance between vocals and instruments would have better served The Go! Team.
While listening, it is important to take the album at face value: there are no hidden meanings or underlying metaphors, and there is no soul-bearing: it is all sunshine lollipops and rainbows without a trace of darkness. There are also no clear highlights or lowlights but at less than forty minutes long, this album can easily be squeezed into anyone’s hectic lifestyle and is a small slice of tasty, harmless summertime fun. Rolling Blackouts from The Go! Team is a delightful mix of short pop songs designed to wash your cares away and transport you to an ‘anywhere but here’ state of mind.
(My rating: 3 out of 5)
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