Sunday, November 22, 2009

Review: Go Time "Speak"

Go Time! is the brainchild of Chicago-based musician Scott Niekelski (formerly of Prairie Town). For those of you who've never heard him before, Niekelski sounds a bit like Michael Stipe on crack, and now he is backed by a band rooted in no nonsense garage jangle pop. As the name implies, Go Time! is all about high energy and a Go(od) Time!

"Speak" comes at you like the menacing dog on the cover, and should come with a warning that reads "Beware of dog". The album bites. The noticeably lo-fi production and limitations of Niekelski's vocals distract from whatever melody may be under the surface - at first. Forcing myself to listen to "Speak" more than once did allow me to begin to appreciate some of the smart power pop within. There is a certain charm about these guys, as their sincerity and attitude will remind you of that wide eyed kid next door who wants nothing more than to have his garage band hit the big stage.

There are some tunes on "Speak" that warrant attention, such as "Rust To Rust" and "Wait and See", but - being honest - I think Go Time! needs to make an effort to get production and recording quality up to a level that no longer distracts from their songwriting and performances. Future releases would also benefit from some added dynamics so that every song doesn't sound the same. I recommend checking them out if you dug the early indie pop sounds of R.E.M., The Connells, or Hoodoo Gurus.

iPOD-worthy: 2, 7

Go Time! on MySpace.

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