The Go! Team – The Scene Between (Memphis Industries; 2015)
The Go! Team’s appeal lies in the group’s kitchen sink approach to pop music, smashing everything from plunderphonics to noise rock together with a sort of manic, jittery vigor akin to a high-concept K-Pop music video. Rather than take another go at replicating Thunder, Lightning, Strike’s blown-out cotton candy-infused cacophony, Go! Team brainchild Ian Parton has wisely reorganized all of the band’s trademark bells and whistles into more concrete, catchy pop songs. The Scene Between, their fourth studio album in 15 years, feels like a refreshingly pared-down, albeit incredibly familiar refinement from a band who’s struggled for memorability time and time again. Whereas the Go! Team’s last few albums often proved exhausting, The Scene Between reveals Parton’s pop sensibilities as a songwriter; refitting the group’s buzzing guitars and lo-fi percussion into more conventionally digestible molds, Parton trims away at the usual bombast and excess while never compromising his band’s signature identity. Sunny, sweet and just busy enough, The Scene Between isn’t so much an evolution as it is a very welcome sidestep.
Trial Track: “Waking the Jetstream”