Have the Team blown it?
Robert Jackman 2007
The Go! Team’s debut album, 2004’s Thunder, Lightning, Strike, had its admirers and its critics. Like a thunderous siren song, the Brighton sextet’s neon beats drew many straight to the dance-floor. But it drove just as many away, as those without a musical sweet-tooth upped and left in numbers. Even if it were possible to sit on the fence, it’d be a pretty cold and lonely place to be.
Proof Of Youth, the Team’s follow up album, won’t be as divisive. Of course, the album’ll have its likers and dislikers. Those who, when the Team’s new single “Doing It Right” inevitably finds its way to radio playlists, will find themselves turning its lo-fi grind up and down respectively. But, as far as lovers and haters go, Proof Of Youth just doesn’t have the personality for it.
As “Grip Like A Vice”, the album’s opening track, launches with waves of sirens – already a favourite trick for the likes of Klaxons and Dizzee – it’s hard to imagine it turning many heads. Then there’s the speeder material, tracks like “Titanic Vandalism” and “Fake ID” - tracks whose sample-heavy clatter is barely distinguishable from the sweaty cacophony of masses of feckless new rave acts.
It was once impossible to predict The Go! Team, but with Proof Of Youth there’s a simple rule of thumb: take your reaction to Thunder, Strike, Lightning, and step it down a gear. That’s all there is to it. All of a sudden, the exclamation mark in the Team’s name – once indicative of their zany urgency and fearless originality – seems to hang there dubiously.