Album Review: The Go! Team - Rolling Blackouts

on Sunday, February 20, 2011
Words: Simon Opie

The Go! Team - 'Rolling Blackouts' (UK Release: 31 Jan '11)

The two overriding themes for this album are joy and nostalgia, and therein lies the danger of the path that Brighton-based The Go! Team tread on their third album 'Rolling Blackouts'. The album harks back to a simpler age when Fatboy Slim invented the Big Beat Sound, Mike Myers came up with Austin Powers, and The Go! Team arrived with 'Thunder, Lightning, Strike'.

All those things were good in their time because, after all, the happiness derived from a celebration of a less complicated (even if non-existent) past is a terrific feeling. Especially when combined with candy flipping on Brighton beach at sunset.

The album opens with the anthemic 'T.O.R.N.A.D.O' and continues with a succession of easily assimilated pop songs in much the same vein as their first two albums. Certainly this album is unmistakably a direct descendant of 2007’s 'Proof Of Youth'.

There are some great guest appearances on vocals from, amongst others, Deerhoof’s Satomi Matsuzaki and Best Coast’s former teenage prodigy Bethany Consentino (on 'Secretary Song' and 'Buy Nothing Day' respectively - two nice tunes). Perhaps the best of all is Lispector’s contribution to 'Ready To Go Steady', which sent me scurrying off to check out her (actually, excellent) solo work.

Overall it’s a happy, uplifting album recalling not only The Go! Team’s earlier work but also other similarly inclined artists such as Hybrid and, at times, Lemon Jelly. So where’s the danger?

Truth to tell even in 2004 The Go! Team were a little bit trailing the zeitgeist and seven years along they haven’t significantly developed; so much so that this new album sounds most convincingly like a collection of cover versions. I have to say that in the circumstances 'Rolling Blackouts' makes somewhat uncomfortable listening despite its benign and positive intentions.

It shows how quickly naivety becomes trite and ingenuousness becomes irritating - which of course is all part of the process of changing times and fashions. Admittedly, not everybody would say the same and for anyone stuck in a turn-of-century time warp, this album will do very nicely. Personally, much as I would love to roll home from the bar on Friday, ineptly practice the Staunton Lick and rejoice in how far we've all come together, that was then.


STREAM: Ready To Go Steady by The Go! Team

STREAM: Buy Nothing Day by The Go! Team

Download 'T.O.R.N.A.D.O' for free at Soundcloud. Purchase 'Rolling Blackouts' from, iTunes, etc.

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