Most recently, the town I live in was in a newfound shock over being struggled with record-low temperatures in the single digits. And, with a downfall of heavy snow, the town was tagged as being under a ‘state of emergency.’ Mostly, this was due to a town unaccustomed to such cold weather with freezing precipitation and, at one point, the electric company declared itself in a state of emergency and much of the town’s residents were placed under a ‘rolling blackouts’ schedule. Electricity was randomly shut off during the week’s evenings and during four-hour stages; it was an interesting experience that caused a lot of contemplative feelings. So it was somewhat fitting to find The Go! Team’s latest album was indeed, titled Rolling Blackouts. And much like that ‘phenomenon,’ the English band’s latest is filled with fashionable outbursts of energy and life, and, like the rest of their discography, it’s an excellent album from top to bottom.
Throughout the album’s changing cycles of sound, the band delivers music in the way any kind of exuberant ensemble would: carefree, confidently and still, expansive. Through their inception The Go! Team’s brand of electronic pop/rock has always been hard to pinpoint and their sound is a unique kind in that it carries a strong punch of heart and soul. On “Secretary Song,” the band shifts through direct changes and modifications that one normally wouldn’t expect. Sometimes the vocals are placed at the front and other times, they’re buried deep in the mix; while the fidelity of the actual production is always evolving. Frontman Ian Parton mentioned the band’s change in style as something they were aiming to accomplish on Rolling Blackouts, and they’ve surely succeeded with that sort of frenetic-style of songwriting. Fortunately, it sounds endearing and far more impactful when done with The Go! Team’s beaming spirit.
Often, the band’s scope can be somewhat too reaching for some to take but, without much of an argument against it, there is never reason to look down on someone’s flourishing range of styles. They go from the sincerely romantic twirl of “Ready to Go Steady” and into the forceful horn section of “Bust-Out Brigade” with tremendous ease; each song’s title being an open look into their insides. The latter features whistles, bells, screams and a dramatic melody that could be on Quentin Tarantino’s next film. And, while the band was aiming for a shape-shifting style in songs, some like “Yosemite Theme” subtly showcase the band’s fantastic musicianship. Much like “Everyone’s a V.I.P. to Someone,” the song focuses the attention on their lovely melodies and trademark instrumentation of banjo, bells and, sometimes, strings.
What was always so refreshing about The Go! Team is shining all over on Rolling Blackouts. Their ideas on how to make albums are seemingly striking to most traditional purists and even the bursting sound they posses seems to scare people away, but The Go! Team is a legit band. Listening to the album’s title track and its intense movement – a thrilling ride of energy and tenacity – its ebb and flow is what makes it outstanding. And although rolling blackouts can be unpredictable, they dictate a time where, when everything’s on, everything counts. The Go! Team makes sure to reach for the stars and they’re certainly poised to simply get more well-known from here.