Not surprisingly, I have been a HUGE fan of The Big Bang Theory since I ran across it while channel surfing one day during the series first season. I was immediately taken by the show because of all the science and pop culture references throughout the series. And, since I was a Microbiology major with a Chemistry minor, I knew many fellow students in college who could have been the inspiration for the characters on the show, including, with all honesty, myself. For better or worse, it is the show to which I go whenever I am overwhelmed by, specifically, my chronic pain, or, universally, whenever I feel overwhelmed by the events of the world. I do not fully understand why this show brings me such comfort but it does.
But, it is not just The Big Bang Theory that helps me deal with my world. That’s where music has been the constant in my life. And, yes, most of the time, I go back to the music of my past in order to find that comfort, since that’s when music was coupled with the heighten senses and hormones of youth. Today, I no longer get obsessive about albums of new music like I did in my teens and twenties. And, I truly miss that intensity, though I am very well aware that those days are in my rearview mirror of life. Now, I am on a quest to find new music to which it is enjoyable to listen.
Well, a couple of months again, I stumbled upon the new album from an indie pop band called The Go! Team. For some reason, this English band has flown under my radar. But, after my first listen to their latest album, SEMICIRCLE, I was hooked upon the band’s canny mix of samples, live instrumentation, Nineties alternative-stylized guitar spurts, cheerleader chants and Eighties Top 40-slash-New Wave pop/rock attitude. To sum up this album in a single word is easy: fun.
The last truly fun album that I have heard over the years was MGMT’s debut album, Oracular Spectacular, way back in 2007. Remember, back in my heyday, I was being fed a constant nutritious barrage of tasty fun by the likes of The B-52’s, Stray Cats, Duran Duran, and all the others. And, now, here is this band that is not afraid to sample the recording of some high school marching band from the early-Eighties and turn it into a fun, compelling pop/dance song. Back in the day, many of these songs would have turned many a frat party into a dance marathon. To my ears, it is so nice to hear actually fun, pop melodies as opposed to all those critically-acclaimed anti-rock artists running around that are either attempting to be My Bloody Valentine-like drones without the sense of melody MBV has underneath the feedback or some kind of lame Sonic Youth knock-off that refused to go back to listen to that band’s influences. Or, worst of all, the prefabricated rhythm-oriented, Auto-tuned vocals of the dance/pop/hip hop/R&B fields.
Yet, whatever The Go! Team is doing, they NEVER lose their humanity even whilst engaging in the latest technological production dew-dad. It’s as if these Brits have a direct line to speak to The B-52’s in order for the elder band members to aid the newer band in how to balance musical talent with pop culture kitsch. And, in all honesty, I really don’t care from whence The Go! Team’s inspiration comes. I’m am just happy hearing their end results.
Though to my ears, there is nary a clunker on SEMICIRCLE, it is not the perfect album, as The Clash’s London Calling remains to this day. Still, The Go! Team got pretty darn close here. Sometime, I need to go back into The Go! Team’s career to hear their earlier albums, since they have actually been on the scene since 2004 (Do I live under a rock or what?!?!). According to http://www.allmusic.com, my personal favorite website for album reviews and other artist information, many of The Go! Team’s earlier albums are better than SEMICIRCLE. If this were the Eighties, The Go! Team would definitely have hits with “Semicircle Song,” “All the Way Live” and “If There’s One Thing You Should Know” the band’s three strongest songs. But, this is the twenty-first century, so I doubt today’s youth will truly get into a band such as The Go! Team.
Whatever! It’s their loss.