The Go Team – Semicircle

Ever since they burst onto the music scene in 2004, The Go! Team have been on my gym playlist, and that’s in no way meant as an insult. Although if The Go! Team could see me red faced, sweaty and jumping around to the throws of Bottle Rocket and Junior Kickstart, they might disagree. Yet The Go Team have always channelled an infectious energy in every song, and live, they brought a full on house party to the stage with rapper/ frontwomen Ninja and a variety of collaborators leaping around, doing squat jumps and creating enough energy to power Blackpool illuminations. They were phenomenal.

Membership of The Go! Team has always been on a revolving door basis, with main songwriter Ian Parton usually being the only constant force. Now reunited with some of the original line up, I’d been looking forward to getting my eardrums around this album for ages! Kicking off with ‘Mayday’ with its catchy riffs, vocal chants of ‘M.A.Y.D.A.Y. Mayday Mayday ‘ brass blasts and frenetic morse code bleeps going full blast, it’s classic Go Team and sets the tone for the rest of the album.  ‘Semicircle Song’ is driven by rhythmic bursts and the assorted vocalists going through their star signs, (and it’s not as daft as that sounds!) All songs have a gigantic drum sound, with what sounds like 10 massive drum kits being beaten at the same time.

Parton travelled to Detroit to record the album and joined forces with Detroit Youth Choir, whose vocals, raps, chants and spoken word bits are on most tracks, giving the whole album a definite sense of euphoria. Amber Arcades provides vocals on the xylophone and flute led gentle refrains of ‘Plans Are A Dream You Organise’,  and Ninja returns for vocal duties on the rhythmically fierce and bass driven ‘She Got Guns’. The theme Parton was apparently going for was “marching band”, with big drum sounds, glockenspiels, and brass, reclaiming that sound from generic sports parades and ceremonies. It’s a concept that seems to have worked, creating that pounding rhythmical heartbeat running throughout the whole album.

Whether they appreciate it as a compliment or not, this album is definitely going on the gym playlist, its energy and infectious melodies have tuned it into a rocket fuelled blast of an album to lift even the darkest of January blues.

Semicircle Release Date 19th January 2018 (Memphis Industries)

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From the early days of creating handmade zines, in a DIY paper and glue style, interviewing bands around town, then pestering Piccadilly Records to sell them, to writing for various independent mags such as Chimp and Ablaze, writing about the music I love is still a great passion. After testing the music industry waters in London with stints at various labels, being back in my hometown again, writing about this city’s vibrant music scene is as exciting as ever. All time favourite bands include Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Patti Smith although anything from electro to folk via blues and pysch rock will also do nicely too. A great album, is simply a great album, regardless of whatever musical cage you put it in.