Great rock 'n' roll is often the triumph of raw power over brainpower.
In the grand tradition of their Michigan forefathers, such as the Stooges and
MC5, The Go do just what their name promises crank out loud, fast,
raucous, adolescent three-chord rawk. And if that means a chorus of nothing but
shouting "You can get high" over and over again, well, nobody ever looked to
Grand Funk Railroad for lyrical insight, now did they?
From the opening crunch of "Meet Me at the Movies" (RealAudio exceprt), The Go never let up. This is
the sound of amplifiers and amphetamines, taken straight from the garage to the
beer-soaked stage. The songwriting is rudimentary, but every track is delivered
with a kind of fierce urgency that overcomes a myriad of sins. And right down to
the retro look of the album cover, it is evident that the lessons of guitar
gunslingers of the past have been taken to heart.
As a frontman, Bobby Harlow doesn't have the pipes to do much more than manage to
get himself heard over the wall of fuzzy riffs thrown up by guitarist Jack White.
On the cocksure "Get You Off" (RealAudio excerpt), Harlow has enough swagger to shout lines like "I
can rock and roll her, faster than a motor/ Get you off all night
long, and I won't get soft." On the catchy title track, he leads a rowdy
shout-a-long, sacrificing his vocal cords to keep up with the shrieking guitars.
Throughout the record, bassist Dave Buick (great name for a Detroit rocker) and
drummer Marc Fellis keep 4/4 time as enthusiastically as anyone. And producer
Matthew Smith deserves credit for staying out of the way as the band plows
through its 12-track debut.
The Go are part of a new crop of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll groups
including Buckcherry and the Murder City Devils that has recently sprung
up. None of the bands have much new to offer, but all are a welcome relief from
tired adult-alternative acts trying to pass themselves off as genuine rock bands.