We music writers are a strange bunch. Whenever we get new music to listen to and review, we always try to fit it into a certain box, letting the world know what genre the listener can expect from an album. So it’s bands like The Go! Team that really throw us into disarray. Why? Because they simply don’t fit into any kind of box. Or rather, their sound is a mixture of so many different boxes that we just don’t know where to place it. It is jangly Indie, hip hop, electronic madness, mixing instrumental tracks, live vocals and samples, with added funk, and something else that sounds like a sixties TV theme tune. But that’s way too much of a mouthful. Let’s just say that their sound is simply The Go! Team. They are their own genre.
The Brighton bunch have been on the scene several years now, since the release of their debut ‘Thunder, Lightening, Strike’ invaded our ears back in 2004. I had no idea what to make of them back then. Fourteen years later and along comes album number five. ‘Semicircle’ is exactly the album you would expect from The Go! Team. It is wildly imaginative and eclectic, but all tied together with that unique sound we know and love them for. They are still on top form and ‘Semicircle’ is a the sound of a band who clearly enjoy making music. It is music for a certain mood. If you’re feeling down, then it’s not the album to listen to. But if you’re in a good mood, then you’ll be buzzing by the end. It is fun and uplifting.
The madness starts right from the offset with ‘Mayday’, blending an epic Diana Ross/Supremes spoken word vocal to ultra funky production, before moving on to ‘Chain Link Fence,’ a much more mellow and chilled affair.
They sound better than ever on the more melodic, song-based tracks such as ‘Semicircle Song’ and ‘If There’s One Thing You Should Know’. They are not afraid to throw out hugely catchy pop gems, and songs like these will be stuck in your head after a couple of plays.
‘Hey!’ is another high point of the album, concentrating less on the catchy pop hooks and vocals and building the track around shouting just one word (strangely enough, that word being ‘Hey!’) But The instrumental tracks are just as catchy, for example the mellow and brilliantly retro ‘Chico’s Radical Decade.’
‘Semicircle’ is a whole load of fun. But more than that it’s slick, well thought out and cool as fuck. There’s a lot of different ideas and sounds thrown together, from brass, steel drums, eighties hip-hop and sixties style hippy madness. ‘Semicircle’ is a breath of fresh air, and a taste of summer during the dark nights and cold winds.
‘Semicircle’ is out now.