Release Date: Mar 24, 2015
Record label: Memphis Industries
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Indie Pop
After the promotional cycle for their Rolling Blackouts album ended, Go! Team guiding force Ian Parton called a band meeting. At the end of it, Parton was the only member of the team still in the band full-time. This return to the original way of working meant that Parton was back to being in total control and he also needed to find some new vocalists.
Since their 2004 debut, Thunder, Lightning, Strike, the Go! Team have combined samples and live instrumentation to create some punchy indie-pop. But for this fourth album, bandleader Ian Parton has changed his modus operandi, building the samples around the songs rather than vice versa. Vintage sounds abound, such as the telephone ring on Did You Know? and the spooling tape at the end of Gaffa Tape Bikini.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Have The Go! Team really been, well, Go!ing for a decade? It would seem so. 2004's Thunder, Lightning, Strike still sounds astonishingly fresh, presumably preserved by the sheer density of musical E-numbers pumped into it by the band's creator / producer, Ian Parton. A warm, glitchy and resolutely lo-fi conjuring of double-dutch playground chants and lost TV theme tunes, Thunder...
The Go! Team’s third record, 2011’s Rolling Blackouts, marked the end of an era for the band. Since its release, several longtime members have splintered off to pursue side projects and various life endeavors (weddings, careers, and other sorts of non-music things that people do sometimes). Such departures left founding bandleader Ian Parton at a crossroads, and thus the first three Go! Team records can now be viewed as a finite trilogy, leaving album number four, The Scene Between, to serve dual roles as both a transitional period and a new beginning.
Located at a midpoint between the Avalanches’ giddy sampledelia and chillwave’s trapped-on-VHS arrested development, the music on the Go! Team’s Thunder, Lightning, Strike was so rich with personality, the guy who actually made it became an afterthought. We talked about car chases, Saturday morning cartoons, or Archie Bell & the Drells; Ian Parton, not so much. Subsequent LPs Proof of Youth and Rolling Blackouts were tasked with proving Parton's project was a viable band rather than a really good idea, and the polite reception of both felt fitting: Both somehow sounded too much like the Go! Team’s debut and not enough like it, unsure of whether to top Thunder, Lightning, Strike or move on.
The Go! Team have long been a band obsessed with making gleeful noise. 2004's debut Thunder, Lightning, Strike set a blueprint for the band and mastermind Ian Parton: stitch together catchy songs out of samples and live instrumentation with a result that sounds a lot like overdriven pop battering rams. For The Scene Between, their first album in four years, Parton found himself writing and recording the music entirely alone, a process not too different from what went into Thunder, Lightning, Strike.
If you wanted novel, irreverent, genre-defying indie pop at any point during the last decade, chances are you crossed paths with the Go! Team once or twice. Before the noisy, sample-based melodics of Sleigh Bells and after the avant-garde plunderphonic elegance of the Avalanches, the Go! Team commanded the burgeoning indie dance-rock scene with explosive, animated music derived from the hard rhythms of rap, the straightforward jubilance of pop and the blunt immediacy of lo-fi rock. Today the sound is mere convention; in 2004, it was prophetic.
What do you do when you’re getting older? Especially when you used to be so bright – when you made pastels look like the silent era? And when it was popular, very good, and you want to get back to the easel? And remember – this is 2015: Instagram sucks the colour from even Australia’s beaches. The Go! Team’s first album in four years, ‘The Scene Between’, grapples with that. It might not be conscious but it’s obvious – you just have to hear the familiar bright sounds and the incongruous, Graham Coxon-circa-‘99 guitars.
Over the years, The Go! Team has carved out a niche sound that combines sprightly noise rock melodies with plunderphonics. On The Scene Between, the first Go! Team album in over four years, leader Ian Parton — who wrote, performed, and produced every song here without his bandmates — all but abandons those trademarks. He forgoes the chanty Toni Basil choruses and dance music flourishes for subdued, straightforward indie pop songwriting.
The Go! Team's delightful 2004 debut, Thunder, Lightning, Strike!, smashed low-fi samples into live instrumentation, creating an explosion of cheerful noise. Each of the U.K. act's follow-up albums has tried, in one way or another, to recreate the magic of that first spark. With their fourth full-length, the band shifts gears slightly, turning away from its signature warped jangle (later a key influence on acts like Sleigh Bells) and barrelling full force into twee-pop.
With the dissolution of the group, The Go! Team is no longer much of a team, but the sole remaining teammate has crafted the group’s best album since the release of Thunder, Lightning, Strike back in 2004. Ian Parton has always been the Svengali of the group, singlehandedly creating the first record, and composing the vast majority of the music ever since. But subsequent albums have showcased various members of the group he assembled in the wake of his first album’s success, particularly there-from-the-start MC Ninja, whose hortatory rhymes often pulled Parton’s pop-collage compositions into the 21st century.
opinion byNATHAN WISNICKI It’d be easy to just break loyalty; to go with the (likely) flow and shrug this one off as another cute passing rush that delivers nothing we haven’t heard before. But no. No! We’re always looking for the one crack in the armor that’s supposed to give us an excuse to put an old act behind us, because God knows there’s always some new flavor of paisley that we’re really supposed to be paying attention to (for the next week or two).
We devour music at such a feverish pace that, more and more, great collections of songs fall through the cracks. Over the summer, we caught up with another punk band who’s almost as ambitious as Titus Andronicus, a critically and commercially approved R&B singer who somehow isn’t in the conversation, and a free jazz sax player known for her collages. All that plus a minor indie-pop comeback, a fast-rising Boston rapper, and the “Taylor Swift of tech-house.” Here’s the best music that SPIN missed over the last couple months.
You know about the big releases each week, but what about those smaller albums which may have passed underneath your radar. Don’t miss out on the smaller, lesser-known gems which might become some of your favourites. We’ve rounded up six of the best new album releases from this week: catch up ….