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Proof Of Youth

Maybe I've become too familiar with what they’re trying to achieve – but right now there’s nothing here to make me instantly love this record.

Rating: 6 ½ / 10

Hannah Hamilton, 24 Aug 2007

Music doesn’t get much more colourful than The Go! Team. Their debut album, 2004’s gloriously chaotic yet immaculately executed experiment in sonic rainbows, Thunder, Lightning, Strike, caught the imagination of music fans looking for something beyond the jangle of indie guitars or the washed-up musings of a doe-eyed crack head (or should that be the other way around: crack-eyed doe head, anyone?). The Go! Team bowled us over with an album that blended samples, genres, sounds and high energy like a toddler on a sugar high attacks a ball of Playdough – and with just as much excitability and infectious enthusiasm.

So it’s actually kind of reassuring that the follow-up has taken over three years to happen, implying as it does that this is a band who are looking for longevity rather than flash-in-the-pan success. So are they on their way to achieving it? Well, opening track ‘Grip Like A Vice’ is a pretty confident statement of intent: layer upon layer of sound builds in traditional Go! Team style, part rave, part electro wig-out, part ‘60s block party, part brassy soul revue. ‘Titanic Vandalism’ fizzes and crackles with huge, boisterous riffs and yelping vocals. And ‘Fake ID’ hits similar targets.

So while all the parts are there, why aren’t my ears fizzing the way they were when Thunder, Lightning, Strike first found its way into my stereo? Have the sounds lost their impact? Is there too much emphasis on stylistics and not enough on hook? Maybe it’s my ears that have changed, or become too familiar with what they’re trying to achieve – but, whatever the cause, right now there’s nothing here to make me instantly love this record. I won’t be writing it off easily, though: it could be a grower. Besides, more than most, The Go! Team are a band to see live before you make that final judgement. Bring on the tour.

Rating: 6 ½ / 10
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