The first and solo practitioners of cheerleader punk. The Go! Team’s Thunder, Lightning, Strike is an explosion of colour and energy that evokes images of high school sports meets, inner-city summer days and the liberty of youth.
The six-piece’s maximalist sound, with its two drums, choral chants, air-raid siren guitars, record-scratching and strong overriding melodies made the album impossible to ignore upon release in 2004. Recorded in the basement of Ian Parton’s parent’s house, the album maintains its scratchy, DIY aesthetic despite its vastly ambitious scale.
Garage rock, old-school hip-hop, double dutch chanting, carnival marching and Vince Guaraldo pianos can all be heard on the album, that never stops whipping up a storm. Mostly remembered for its cheerleading singles, Ladyflash, The Power Is On and Huddle Formation, we also get to experience other elements of youthful innocence.
Get It Together’s melody is reminiscent of computer game soundtracks. Both Hold Yr Terror Close and Feelgood By Numbers are taken straight from the Charlie Brown songbook, the former sung by Angela Won-Yin Mak with all the sweet tenderness of a nervous child singing in front of her classmates. Bottle Rocket blends the “2, 4, 6, 8, 10” drill cry with Sugarhill Gang rapping. And try to keep a dry eye on their instrumental sign off, Everyone’s A VIP To Someone (the title alone has me welling up), as the sun sets on what is an infectiously charming and overflowing celebration of juvenescence.