Go! Teem - Thunder, Lightning Strike
This album has been out for many months already, but given that it was short listed for the recent Nationwide Mercury Music Prize, which ultimately went elsewhere, now is as good a time as any to check out one of the most interesting debut records of the past twelve months. Convenient then that it is being re-released, but as an updated version. The 2005 'Thunder, Lightning, Strike' album has a couple of extra tracks plus a few subtle differences from the original due to the old, sample clearance issue.
There's a fighting chance you’ve heard some of it already, 'Lady Flash' was the single that gained the most exposure, and is perfectly designed for the purpose of the soundtrack to goal montages; Soccer AM on Sky were a regular user of it when it first came out towards the end of 2004. 'Bottle Rocket' is the latest single and is similar in its energy but doesn’t quite have the same grab factor.
The great thing about The Go! Team is that it is very hard to pigeon hole them into any musical bracket as there are so many different styles incorporated into this offering. If you had to force someone to categorize them, they might well be tempted to call it alternative dance, as that would seem the most logical tag for it. However when a record features rock, dance, soul, urban, classical, jazz and a token funky banjo on the final track, calling them anything would quite honestly be doing a disservice.
There are tracks on this album that are reminiscent of artists such as Lemon Jelly and Gorillaz, for the reason that both of those bands also boldly go into places that the less innovative of dance music creators would have a glazed look in their eyes at the mere mention of it. The most Lemon Jelly like track on here is ' Everyone's a VIP to someone', which closes the record and starts with that afore mentioned banjo. This is one of the instrumental tracks on the album and the one where the drums and strings really shine through, there is a real air of the 1970s or 80s TV theme tune about it. Also message to any call center, ditch your current rubbish hold music and use this track as it would work a treat.
Another great strength is the live feel to the record, something that suggests that if you were to pay a visit to a Go! Team gig; you would be treated to an onslaught of percussion, highly charged vocals and a bigger variety of instruments than your brain might know how to handle.
Unfortunately this album hasn't reached the same stratospheric sales heights as some of their Mercury Music Prize peers, but it is certainly one that was richly deserving of a place on that elite shortlist. Maybe the reissue and inevitable marketing that will accompany it, will lead to it gaining the mass appreciation that it deserves.