That’s the way to go…
If there’s one thing we can count on in the busy and often uncertain modern music scene, it’s that an album by The Go! Team is inevitably going to rock up to make things better.
Three years on from previous album Semicircle (see Wavegirl review previously), Get Up Sequences Part One seems to be again on familiar territory. Ian Parton’s vision once again employs busy musical collages in his musical collective, a concept that was originally inspired by the idea of creating themes. Get Up Sequences is packed with compositions that sound like they’ve been culled from lost 70s TV shows. Once again, it’s the sound of the cool kids being let loose in the school music room, with the naive instrumentation lending the music its peculiar charm. The album also reunites The Go! Team with members of the Detroit Youth Choir (who previously contributed to Semicircle).
Previously, we were perhaps being unfavourable in our review of Semicircle at the time, suggesting that The Go! Team had taken a step back from the evolution that the phenomenal Rolling Blackouts had delivered (which even Parton himself views as one of the group’s better records). Then again, that review’s contention that “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” also applies to Get Up Sequences Part One – and there’s little to complain about here.
It’s not a project that was without its challenges. The creation of Get Up Sequences Part One was plagued by an ongoing hearing issue that Parton has had since 2019. “My hearing was different in some way” commented Parton, “it fluctuated over a few weeks and at one point everything sounded like a Dalek” (later diagnosed as a condition known as Ménière’s disease). “The trauma of losing my hearing gave the music a different dimension for me and it transformed the album into more of a life raft.”
The album opens up with ‘Let The Seasons Work’, a brisk shakedown with busy arrangements and brass stabs. The perky ‘Cookie Scene’ is a simpler affair, with its flute melodies and schoolyard chant vocals, which still carry an unusual weight to them (“I’m feeling kinda funny cause life is like a game”), care of guest vocalist IndigoYaj. It’s also peppered with some nice electronic effects to keep your attention.
Instrumental number ‘A Memo for Maceo’ employs a reversed intro, then drops into a classic Go! Team groove with harmonica and shuffling beats. Meanwhile, there’s a more airy approach to ‘We Do It But Never Know Why’ with its breathy vocals and light musical arrangement.
‘Freedom Now’ offers up a more discordant affair using looped vocal effects and percussion to create a weirdly hypnotic composition. Meanwhile, ‘Pow’ offers up a tight number busting out with attitude courtesy of The Go! Team’s secret weapon of Ninja once again on vocal duties.
‘A Bee Without Its Sting’ is a softer affair with its warm rhythms and engaging guest vocals – care of Detroit teenagers Jessie Miller and Rian Woods. The album also boasts the great ‘Tame the Great Plains’, a (mostly) instrumental outing with some effective brass out front and centre.
Get Up Sequences Part One appears to have arrived at just the right time, with its breezy mélange of sounds providing the perfect soundtrack for the summer. While we might on occasion quibble on the direction the group might be wandering down, The Go! Team have yet to deliver a duff album. Play it loud.
Get Up Sequences Part One is out now on the Memphis Industries label.