The Go! Team
Feb 23, 2011 Issue #35 - Winter 2011 - Death Cab for Cutie
Imagine your coolest friend. Now imagine, over PBRs at your local watering hole, he gets a phone call. His ring tone? The crazy frog. Now, imagine your horror. Sure he’s the same person, but how do you account for this terrible gap in taste? Welcome to the new Go! Team album. For their third outing, the band clung tight to the same double-dutch rhythms, retro samples, and Vince Guaraldi melodies that made their previous two efforts such unexpected delights. Only now, they’ve turned it up to 11. The result, rather than a mega-dose of awesome, is an ear-shattering cacophony—a kissing cousin to the crazy frog.
Leaving no place for the ear to rest, the album operates on a gluttonous “more is more” philosophy, ricocheting from song to song with Red Bull intensity. Marching band-meets-wood chipper opener “T.O.R.N.A.D.O.” is so over-stuffed with discordant ideas; it makes the bombast usually associated with a Lady Gaga stage production seem almost trite in comparison.
Saving the worst for first, the album settles into a series of super-loud, but ultimately forgettable riffs. Along the way, there are moments of recovery—but at best they’re a series of breathtaking almosts. The horns of “Bust-Out Brigade” almost match the 1970s glee of debut album, Thunder, Lightening, Strike. Best Coast’s Bethany Consentino stops by for “Buy Nothing Day,” and her slacker charm almost renders the heavily lacquered track palatable. Lone piano balled “Lazy Poltergeist” is almost long enough for the listener to catch her breath—although if it was meant as a respite, it’s the kind of stopgap where paramedics—paddles in hand—usually wait to shock over-exerted marathon runners back into sinus rhythm. One has to applaud The Go! Team for their restless energy and dogged determination to stick to a previously tried and true formula, but Rolling Blackouts proves that louder and faster in no way equals hip. (www.thegoteam.co.uk)
Author rating: 4/10
Average reader rating: 6/10