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Proof of Youth by The Go! Team

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Reviewed on 23rd September 2007.


Proof of Youth

By The Go! Team

From the outset this album grips the listener like the titular vice of the first track, and only slackens once or twice as it cavorts noisily through a joyous 36 minutes. There clearly hasn't been any massive reappraisal of the formula since the previous long player was quietly unleashed three or four years back. But given that it's such a winner, it would be churlish to complain.

The wailing sirens are here, along with the shouty vocals, horns, the jangly guitars, the banjos, the harmonicas, the battered drums, pianos, tambourines and handclaps. All present, correct, scuzzy and indecipherable, thanks. It's ever so slightly bonkers, ridiculously cheerful and all likely to lead to jumpy dancefloor dynamite in the presence of anyone with half a sense of rhythm.

Of course we've got some of those trademark downbeat numbers (I mentioned banjos, didn't I?), but you've got to catch your breath somewhere, and perhaps no one really wants to be completely exposed to white noise for a full half hour. So, we get a certain amount of Chi's slightly less frenetic vocals to counter the shoutier Ninja stuff, and maybe a bit more wistful piano and harmonica thrown in here and there. It's all good, though.

We also get vocal contributions from Marina Bonde do Role and, memorably, Chuck D on the sonic assault that is 'Flashlight Fight'. Of course it's less like listening to the man himself than being run over by a police car that happens to be playing Public Enemy on its (badly tuned) radio, but this doesn't much matter. It's an ace burst of noise that trumps the single cuts (Grip Like A Vice and Doing It Right) for sheer power, but maybe the signature of album in terms of a quality tune and a two word summary is the storming 'Titanic Vandalism'. The various ingredients thrown into cutting this disc may indeed have been recklessly vandalized by Ian Parton and co, but the resulting car-crash of sonic influences is well worth checking out.



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