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The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike (US reissue) Review
by Jordan Rodgers

Those who have kept up with the independent music scene in the last year or so have most likely become familiar with The Go! Team, and their excellent debut album, "Thunder, Lightning, Strike." The album has now been available as a British import for almost a full year, and in that time has built quite a reputation. The long-awaited stateside release of the album is finally upon us, and thankfully, not only has the greatness of the album remained intact, it has even been increased.

For those who are unfamiliar with the original album, this record is energetic fun in disc form. The songs have a wonderfully original aesthetic, sounding like the bastard lovechild of 80's TV theme songs, hip-hop, and modern angular dance rock. The result of this synthesis is a triumphant set of songs, each in their own way embodying the spirit of the entire album. From the driving pulse of "Panther Dash" and "Ladyflash," to the joyful recorders of "Get it Together," there simply isn't a weak song in the set. It is difficult to believe that such a fully formed album could have come so quickly for a band experimenting with such a radical new aesthetic; every single song delivers in new ways on the promise of the sound, and each of them manage to be a hell of a lot of fun to listen to in the process. And it's not all light fun, either - the darkest song on the album, the trumpet-driven "Junior Kickstart," is perhaps its best. The closer, "Everyone's a VIP to Someone," besides being gloriously titled, is another wonderful change of pace, winding the project down with a folky mix of beautifully melodic banjo and harmonica lines.

So, in short, it's a freaking great album, and one that you should own already. If you do, though, this reissue might still be worth your money. The main reason for this is that this baby comes packaged with two brand spanking new songs, "We Just Won't Be Defeated," and "Hold Yr Terror Close." The former is the better of the two, fitting perfectly into the tapestry of the album with a glorious trumpet line and exuberant shout-rapping. The latter is somewhat of a non-starter, from my perspective, a surreal piano led ditty that might be interesting for fans but not one of the band's best. The other thing to keep in mind with this reissue is that it has been (subtly) remixed; the sound has been beefed up a bit. This strips the original material of the low-fi feel that helped to make the original sound so playful, but as far as I'm concerned it makes the impact of these songs more immediate, and makes for an ultimately better listening experience.

If, on the other hand, you haven't gotten this album yet, you really couldn't pick a better time to pick up what is truly one of the best albums of recent years.

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The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike (US reissue)


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