More than ever, the Go! Team have good reason to cheer. After the genre-bending British pep squad’s 2004 debut Thunder, Lightning, Strike struck, the Brighton posse deservedly grew in popularity, signed with Sub Pop to handle their Stateside release, and, most importantly managed to turn out one hell of a sophomore album, Proof Of Youth. We all know the air-raided, girl-partying “Grip Like A Vice” is a blustery smash (even without the chaotic Rage visuals). It works perfectly as an opener — the way the rest of Proof Of Youth’s 11 tracks follow it is bona fide proof of maturity.
Nope, the formula hasn’t shifted much, but that song-by-song flow shows a ton of teamwork: Group chants like the second, Pipettes-y single “Doing It Right” take breathers so the pretty, sweetly psychedelic acoustic ‘n’ shaker number “My World” can gust gently into “Titanic Vandalism” — another example of “Rapper’s Delight” rock by a twee-punk marching band — and its shouted “Are you ready for more?” Yeah, of course we are. How about the imploded Comet Gain punk of “Fake ID” or the brassy ’80s roller-ready outro “Patricia’s Moving Picture”? Or, wait, the strings and guitar riffs of the rope jumping, but somehow stadium ready “Keys To The City.” It such a frantic sound throughout, so overstuffed and right on — Sly and the Family Ninja? Oh, that would be “The Wrath Of Marcie.”
Let’s not stop here ? We also really love “Universal Speech.” Is that the one with Marina from Bonde de Role? Who knows for sure without the liners, they trotted out everyone for this one: Amsterdam’s Solex, the Rappers Delight Club (see) and original Double Dutch Divas, Washington D.C.’s Frederick Douglas All Star Cheer Team, and Chuck D. Tellingly, the “Grip Like A Vice” single’s backed by Go!’s cover of Sonic Youth’s “Bull In The Heather.” Remember when SY brought Chuck D in for Goo’s “Kool Thing”? Well, as further proof of their Youth love, the Go! Team brought the Public Enemy frontman on the “Flashlight Fight,” which has a paranoid, siren-sounding backdrop reminiscent of early PE. It takes a nation.
So, yeah, we give a solid stamp of approval, but if you can’t wait or aren’t sure about leaks, the band has three versions of their new single packaged into the Doing It Right: Singles Collection available, each with a different b-side: “Willow’s Song,” “Milk Crisis,” and “Doing It Right (Yo Majesty Remix).” Well played, team.
Proof of Youth is out 9/10 in the UK via Memphis Industries, 9/11 in the US via Sub Pop.