“Rolling Blackouts” is the Go! Team’s third, full-length studio release and long-awaited follow-up to 2007’s “Proof of Youth.”
Fans will delight in hearing the English sextet’s distorted, garage-rock guitar arrangements. But even more prevalent than on previous albums are visible efforts to mix the sounds of musical eras and genres.
Female vocalist and English rapper Nkechi Ka Egenamba, or “Ninja” for short, plays the role of front woman on “Rolling Blackouts.” Ninja combines her mastery of rap with weaving instrumentals and sampling on “Back Like 8 Track” to give listeners a healthy serving of modern hip-hop.
“T.O.R.N.A.D.O.” presents itself as a disharmony of sound before morphing into a beat and rhyme combination as powerful as any in hip-hop today. “Apollo Throwdown” is cut from the same cloth and features more fiery lyrics from Ninja.
“Rolling Blackouts” also offers some guitar-driven and vintage-sounding tracks.
The melody on “Ready to Go Steady” harkens back to the Velvet Underground and “Secretary Song,” which features Deerhoof’s Satomi Matsuzaki, is as pop-rock as you could want, but could also blend-in perfectly on a “Brady Bunch” soundtrack.
Guitarist and group founder Ian Parton and Ninja both make “Voice Yr Choice” the “must download” track of the album. Ninja’s unmistakable voice shines through on yet another vintage backdrop after Parton kicks the song into gear with a playful riff.
Title track “Rolling Blackouts” also does not disappoint. This is simply the Sonic Youth-inspired sound that fans will remember from previous albums.
All told, the outfit samples, rhymes and strums its way through 14 tracks and more than 44 minutes of the most intensely diverse and satisfying music you’ll ever hear. Don’t be surprised to see “Rolling Blackouts” on early watch-lists for album of the year.