With their sixth album, Get Up Sequences Part One, The Go! Team continue to build their universe. It’s a universe where rap cozies up to junk shop percussion, and pep rally chants find a home in psych-rock. Guest singers and marching drums play side-by-side with hip-hop sampledelia and a rasping harmonica ripped from a Spaghetti Western. Since their 2004 debut Thunder, Lightning, Strike, the Brighton six-piece have proven themselves to be a shape-shifting beast wandering a shape-shifting landscape of their own making. Perfection is boring and boring is a crime.
It’s a sentiment made loud and clear on the album’s raucous opener, “Let the Seasons Work”, where Sixties lounge flute and rollicking trumpets crash into steel drums and marching-band horns. Meanwhile, “Pow” aptly recreates the Eighties style of Salt-N-Pepa, with call-and-answer vocals somewhere between rap and a double dutch rhyme. One song later, on the instrumental “Freedom Now”, the record’s relentless swell of joy and happiness crests into a deliciously Nineties suckerpunch that makes you feel like the main character in your favourite teen flick.
Lyrically, the band remains as aggressively chirpy as ever. On “I Loved You Better”, front woman Ninja takes on the persona of a jilted lover whose ex has left her for a new partner. Teeth-bared and raring to go with a shrieky intro, the track seems poised for a vicious takedown before it swerves into a groovier, jaunty message of self-love instead. An old-school soul speaking section (“I counted tears instead of sheep but that was then and this is now / and one day soon you’ll find out how much that I was worth”) is a surprisingly welcome introduction that manages not to sound hokey.
There are times you’d hope for some reprieve from the hyperactivity, but for fans of The Go! Team, Get Up Sequences Part One won’t disappoint. It’s more of what the band do best.
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