Brighton, England's The Go! Team makes a propulsive, kinetic music, drawing together indie-pop, dancehall beats, hip-hop and all manner of samples and screeching guitar noise. What might be an ADD mess waiting to happen, instead, somehow, finds cohesion yet again on Rolling Blackouts.
Music this scattered could only exist in the mash-up era, but by playing loose with genres and never letting up on the throttle, Rolling Blackouts manages to build its own sort of rhythm out of those near-constant shifts.
The album opens with "T.O.R.N.A.D.O."—a wild, sizzling audio assault. "Apollo Throwdown" takes some of the spacey glam of 1970s David Bowie and adds dancehall beats.
"Ready to Go Steady" is practically a mash-up in itself—a sweet and melodic 1960s girl group song paired with manic, almost recklessly percussive drums. "Buy Nothing Day" boosts the power-pop one part higher in the mix, with Best Coast's Beth Cosentino guesting on vocals.
Rolling Blackouts is curiously heavy on instrumental (or mostly instrumental) songs. And while "Bust-Out Brigade" and "Super Triangle" are strong, others are unnecessary. The forgettable "Yosemite Theme" sounds like an extended TV show intro. The piano-only "Lazy Poltergeist" is the only track that seems out of place in this eclectic mix.
Rolling Blackouts doesn't top the nearly impossible cohesion of Go! Team's debut, Thunder, Lightning, Strike, but it's another completely original grab bag of high-energy songs that rush along, ecstatically dancing to whatever beat they can find.