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The GO

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Album Review

Perhaps because it was released on the British Lizard King label, the Go's eponymous second album ranks as one of the more underappreciated records to come out of Detroit's post-White Stripes garage rock scene. Of course, Jack White has long since left the Go, but despite their lack of recording activity in the intervening years, they've evolved quite nicely, trading most of their debut's R&B inflections for a punchier, harder-rocking sound. Many of the songs on Go benefit from a glammy, T. Rex-derived stomp, which sits well alongside the other dominant influences: Iggy Pop, Exile on Main St.-era Rolling Stones, Nuggets-style garage and psych. A few songs come off as generic retro-garage, but on the whole, the band's songwriting has taken a major step forward, both in terms of melodicism and variety. The latter might be the album's greatest strength: there are minor pop gems ("Hardened Heart Blues," "Games," "He's Been Lying"), acoustic balladry ("Come Back"), hard-boiled, punked-out, quintessentially Detroit rockers ("American Pig," "Growd Up Wrong," "I Got It"), and tossed-off glam struts ("Ain't That Bad," "Blue Eyes Woman," "You Can Rock & Roll"), plus the bluesy, fuzzed-out groove of "Summer's Gonna Be My Girl," which falls in the great garage rock tradition of simple riffs and vamps built on as few chords as possible. True, their songwriting isn't quite as indelible as that of their erstwhile bandmate Jack White, who works from a much wider stylistic palette; the Go never move beyond their '60s and '70s fixations, which is why they don't quite transcend their niche in the manner of the White Stripes. Still, there's no reason to fault them for not reinventing the wheel; Go is a solid, nifty little rock & roll record that places its creators among the most accomplished bands of the Detroit renaissance.


Formed: 1998 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

Part of the emerging Detroit garage rock scene of the late '90s along with their more famous brethren, the White Stripes, the Go formed in 1998. Vocalist Bobby Harlow, guitarist John Krautner, and drummer Mark Fellis grew up together as kids -- the addition of guitarist Steve Nawara and bassist Dave Buick made the band complete and they began playing gigs in the Detroit area. An opening slot for fellow Detroiters ? & the Mysterians helped get them the attention of Sub Pop, which signed the band and...
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The GO, The Go
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