BG Recommends: Yuck, The Go! Team & The Joy Formidable

I’ve been listening to about a few albums religiously over the past few months. I have kind of neglected writing about them so now I’m going to try get through as many as possible. So, here goes, the first three.

The Go! Team – Rolling Blackouts

Rolling Blackouts is the third album from Brighton’s genre-hopping The Go! Team. They set their stall out with 2004’s Thunder, Lightning, Strike while 2007’s Proof of Youth failed to replicate their earlier success, something this record rectifies. As one of the most distinctive and unique sounding acts there isn’t much they can do without hampering what makes such an attractive listen. Constrained by this the new record offers nothing really new or daring. This is something they could be criticized for but why change a recipe that works well?

The now renowned bright, blend of indie, brass and funky hip-hop beats, is epitomized by openers ‘T.O.R.N.A.D.O’ and ‘Secretary Song’. Amongst the party tunes are some exceptional instrumental forays, spearheaded by the spritely brass explosion ‘Bust-out Brigade’ and the sprawling ‘Yosemite Theme’. Aided by Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino on guest vocals, lead single ‘Buy Nothing Day’ sees them venture into genuinely new garage rock territory.

It is an incredibly enjoyable listen, guaranteed to paste smiles on faces. Regardless of its shortcomings it creates a serious feel good buzz, it’s hard not to be infected with the sheer cheeriness of this record.

The Go! Team – Bust-out Brigade

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The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar

Welsh rock trio, The Joy Formidable, were highlighted as ones to watch for 2011 and they haven’t disappointed (phew!).

The Big Roar isn’t offering anything overly ambitious, yet it is one of the most enjoyable records of the year so far. This is a masterclass of how indie-rock is supposed to sound. The album centres around a number of huge epic stadium anthems like ‘Whirring’ and ‘The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade’. Far from being one-dimensional, they are accompanied by equally great short sharp shots of rock ‘Austere’ and ‘The Magnifying Glass’, think a cross between The Manics and Blood Red Shoes.

A thrilling and enthralling listen which aims to please, executed with style and exuberance, the soaring guitar lines and immense vocals from Ritzy Bryan hit the nail firmly on the head.

They support The Manics in The Olympia on May 16th – excited!

The Joy Formidable – The Greatest Light Is the Greatest Shade via The Drift Record Shop

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Yuck – Yuck

London 4-piece Yuck were also given ones to watch status last year, something their self-titled debut has delivers on.

They hanker back to when ‘indie music’ was much rougher around the edges and less polished than much of radio fodder clogging up the airwaves today. There’s an overriding sense of nostalgia for ‘80s and ‘90s indie rock  these guys. Far from being ‘hacks’ they’ve produced a dapper reinvention of this well honed style.

On the whole it’s more controlled and polished than luminaries who have gone before them. Yuck basically falls between two categories. The straight up rock-out tracks like ‘The Wall’ and ‘Holing Out’, which see distorted vocals and grungey guitars and the gloriously catchy ‘Suicide Policeman’ and ‘Shook Down’ echoing bands like Lemonheads.

It’s certainly easy on the hear, infectious one could say. Definitely one to keep an eye on this year.

Yuck – The Wall

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