The Go! Team's 'Get Up Sequences Part One' Is a Reminder That Twee Indie Kids Need Pump-Up Jams Too
Published Jun 28, 2021Twee indie folks enjoy sports too, and that's always been the Go! Team's niche, since their music sounds like Jock Jams for Belle and Sebastian fans. Imagine "Whoomp! (There It Is)" played on glockenspiel and you'd have a pretty good idea of the territory they've been exploring for close to 20 years, since 2004's still-brilliant Thunder, Lightning, Strike.
Get Up Sequences Part One often feels like a time capsule from the band's earlier days. The sound is a lot more hi-fi, and there's a bit more shoegaze and hip-hop this time around, but the general blueprint is the same.
Album opener "Let the Seasons Work" sounds a bit like all of Thunder, Lightning, Strike rolled into one, with rousing horns that give way to cute faux-flute riffs and girl-group pop melodies. "Pow" has the Go! Team's signature style of chanted vocals that fall halfway between rapping and schoolyard shouts, while the wheezing harmonica on "A Memo for Maceo" sounds like a direct allusion to early-career highlight "Panther Dash." During the making of the album, bandleader Ian Parton's hearing was seriously compromised due to an ear condition called Meniere's disease — but even though he describes the experience as "traumatic" in a press release, the palpable sense of joy across these 10 tracks never wavers.
The Go! Team stretch their wings slightly on "Cookie Scene," which puts a twee twist on flute-driven rap thanks to guest verses from Indigo Yaj and an aggressively cheerful beat. Elsewhere, the Go! Team skew very slightly darker than usual: prior to the aforementioned harmonica, "A Memo for Maceo" begins with a woozy intro straight out of MBV's Loveless, and this shoegaze influence reemerges with the seasick churn of "Freedom Now." The juxtaposition of giddy bubblegum and squalling guitar noise makes "I Loved You Better" sound like a less harsh version of Sleigh Bells.
Subtitling this album Part One feels a bit self-deprecating — as if it can't stand on its own, or is just a chapter in larger work. New listeners would be better off going back to the source with Thunder, Lightning, Strike, but Get Up Sequences is a nevertheless solid example of the Go! Team doing what they do best. (Memphis Industries)