by The Go! Team

Some people just aren’t team players. To us, the idea of being part of a gang and indulging in some communal exercise makes us want to break every single bone in our bodies, just to make sure it physically can’t happen.

There are probably only two exceptions where we’d invite the possibility of signing up to an organisation of sorts: to be Ghostbusters, or to be members of The Go! Team.

Not that we’d be much use to either; our paranormal skills are limited to just saying ‘boo’ to ghosts, and our music skill set is just one notch below that of Jedward’s.

But there’s something rather triumphant about this six-piece band from Brighton in general, and their fifth studio album Semicircle in particular. Something that makes you almost want to belong. Almost.

boom - The Go! Team - Semicircle image

‘Mayday’, the first single to ‘drop’ from the album, is an energetic ball of happening. It’s fuelled by the brassiest of bands, accompanied by perky cheerleaders, making you wonder where did you leave your pom poms last? If you can do a high kick, now’s the time to do so. It’s bold and beautifully brassy.

Taking it down a notch is ‘Chain Link Fence’. Its gentle melody has a whiff of J-pop about it, as does the whole album. Its breezy cheeriness is infectious to the max.

The horn section raise their glorious instruments to the skies once more for the Semicircle Song. If you can do the splits, now would be a good time. If not, sit back, relax, and just feel the smile spread all over your face.

There’s a lot going on in the short amount of time that ‘Hey!’ hangs around. If you listen to the production, you may well be able to hear someone on the kitchen sink. Nice.

Just as busy in the production area is the not-so-catchy titled ‘The Answer’s No – Now What’s the Question?’. Thankfully the pace isn’t so breakneck, but it’s just as upbeat as everything else here, tinged with a seventies guitar vibe.

That retro flavour continues with ‘Chico’s Radical Decade’; a floral instrumental that is the musical equivalent to being barefoot and feeling the grass beneath your feet. It could also have been the theme tune to a seventies TV show featuring a female cop who usually let her suspects go, because she just knew they had good hearts. Needless to say, it only lasted one series.

‘All the Way Live’ continues the J-pop feeling, with girly vocals talking over a band with all their bits and pieces going, giving all they’ve got.

boom reviews The Go! Team - Semicircle

Ditching the brass for some steel drums is the delightful ‘If there’s One Thing You Should Know’. If there’s one song that can guarantee to turn a frown upside down, it’s this. In fact, it’s so good for you, it should be available for free on the NHS for one and all.

If you’re lacking fruit in your diet – and no, fruit gums don’t count – then you should give ‘Tangerine/Satsuma/Clementine’ a whirl. It’s another instrumental, on the short side, that’s there to cleanse your palette, readying you for the rear end of this particular musical odyssey.

Putting on some urban swagger is ‘She’s Got Guns’. It’s not clear how many guns she has exactly, but with the attitude this tune pulls off, you best steer clear to be on the safe side. Bounce in the air like you just don’t care.

There’s something magical about ‘Plans are Like a Dream U Organise’. It’s the kind of song you can imagine that unicorns would kick back and listen to, after a busy day of making dreams come true. And you can‘t argue with that.

All good things must come to an end, even this album. The big finale is left to ‘Getting Back Up’ to do its thing. The horns are back and doing their thang. It’s upbeat, bouncy, and a fitting end to a consistently joyous experience.

boom reviews The Go! Team - Semicircle

The Go! Team have produced a damn fine long player, one that has the kind of puppy dog energy that just won’t leave you alone. It constantly licks your face with the intention of wanting to be your new best friend. And if you have any sense, you should let it.

This album in particular sounds as if it would make itself right at home in one of those quirky Japanese video games. In fact, if you’ve ever played Katamari Damacy, or any of its sequels, many a track on this album could conceivably feature on its brilliant soundtrack. If you loved the music to those games, then you’ll love this.

Semicircle certainly has its themes; brassy bits popping up here, there and everywhere, floaty girly vocals delivered with cheerleading gusto, and melodies constantly swinging on the monkey bars of your mind. Together they create an album full of joy and glee, one that if it were to be the constant soundtrack to your life, could only improve things dramatically. So, what are you waiting for?

five out of five