Album Reviews: Thunder, Lightning, Strike (Bonus Tracks) by The Go! TeamImagine if Vince Guaraldi, Ennio Morricone, The Sugar Hill Gang, and '80s TV theme composer Mike Post collaborated on double-dutch jump-rope tunes in an English garage. Then they recorded these buoyant ditties themselves on an old boom box. Now you have a slight approximation of this instantly familiar yet completely original band, The Go! Team.
Thunder, Lightning, Strike, the debut album by The Go! Team, has finally been released stateside after making a lot of underground and overseas noise. It's the kind of music you would expect from children weaned on the teat of Nintendo, the Internet, and MP3s. Rich, detailed and dense in a caffeinated way, it embraces many different styles. A filmmaker, maybe Hitchcock, once said film is like life with all the boring parts cut out. The Go! Team applies that same aesthetic, taking just the best bits, and somehow it works. Ian Parton did it all (drums, horns, piano, samples, harmonica) in his bedroom till he had live gigs booked, and needed a real band: Picture the scene from the Peanuts Christmas special where all the kids (and Snoopy) are playing instruments and dancing to "Linus and Lucy." This is feel good music of the highest order.
The Go! Team achieve the not insignificant task of sounding nostalgic yet fresh. Lead vocalist, Ninja, raps and sings on two of the highlights here, "Ladyflash" and the fired-up "Huddle Formation." Many of the tracks are instrumental, but say all they need to with just a title ("Everyone 's a V.I.P. to Someone"). Sure it sounds like it was recorded in a tin can, but that's part of the charm. - Jeff Kamin
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