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The Go! Team: Rolling Blackouts

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With its banging beats, larger-than-life hooks, well-placed singing and rapping, and clever marriage of found and live instrumentation, Rolling Blackouts shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with The Go! Team, arguably the world’s finest purveyor of multi-culti cheerleader-pop. Following a bit of a sophomore stumble with 2007’s Proof Of Youth—really, anything was going to be a letdown in the wake of the near-perfect Thunder, Lightning, Strike—the Brighton, England, outfit has returned to form with its formula. That concoction is probably best left unmolested, at least until leader Ian Parton stops spinning samples into gold. Things get off to a roaring start with two minutes of big horns, scratching, and urgent rapping from frontwoman Ninja on the appropriately named “T.O.R.N.A.D.O.,” which gives way to the more restrained yet equally enjoyable “Secretary Song,” a catchy girl-group throwback number featuring Deerhoof’s Satomi Matsuzaki. The explosion-followed-by-girl-group-track scenario repeats itself over the next four songs, culminating in the album highlight “Buy Nothing Day,” a power-pop powerhouse with Best Coast’s Beth Cosentino perfectly cast as the lead. The second half of the album isn’t as strong, but there are still plenty of things to dance to and smile at, including the title track, which contains traces of My Bloody Valentine and once again finds Cosentino helping the band put its best pom-pom forward. The Go! Team still has spirit, yes it does, and with Rolling Blackouts, it’s given fans of ecstatic pop one more thing to cheer about.