Monday, June 22, 2009

Reviews:: The Got To Get Got Sahalee

As regular readers can probably attest to, we focus on the folk, hip-hop, alt-country and noise scenes here in Halifax. It's not that we don't like pop music, it's just rare that we stumble across terrific pop artists. Tear in your beer anthems and pedal effects seem to take precedence over smiles and melody, but the sprawling pop sounds of The Got To Get Got are fixing to change things.

Led by North of America's Mark Mullane , the coast-to-coast collective trimmed down to it's fighting weight for their debut full length and the East Coast edition spent four week in the studio recreating the energy they have brought to the stage over the last three years. Even though the band hunkered down here on the East Coast, but the opening track - Burn, Yaletown, Burn - is an attack on the yuppie district of Vancouver that is littered with hip restaurants and Starbucks and tiny dogs are as much a fashion accessory as over sized glasses or designer sweatpants and it really primes the listener for the upcoming energy.

Sahalee is a golf-inspired record and really the timing of this release couldn’t have been better. We’ve all been watching the rain-soaked '09 US Open and when the band kicks off Bethpage Black with the smack of a driver, your heart starts racing but they soften the track with lovely strings as a delicate approach shot. Even the playful twist on Rhianna’s Umbrella they add to the the end of the track seems fitting as the rain keeps falling.

But Sahalee is much more than one strong song. Even on a casual listen you find standout tracks - the stabbing strings that dance around the rawkus Crosses are fantastic and tracks like surging War of Letters and the sweeping pop of Rattle On grab you immediately. When you really dive in, you see that TGTGG offer up good range and take risks, most of which pay off and will make this record a grower.

Unfortunately, there are times that things do get a bit disjointed and you have to navigate through some peaks and valleys (which I find ironic since Memories Attack-er Ron Bates plays on the record). The tempo change from the poppy bliss of GDitA to the sad sack, stripped down Peyton and Perry kind of derails the listen. Even with the ear pleasing layers and nice build they execute as the song progresses (the horns and electric sounds great together), you kind of get sidetracked and sadly it makes Rare Rain seem like a bit of an afterthought.

I know that trying to contain the sounds of a sprawling collective isn’t easy, and the majority of the tracks are crisp and compact but the last two tracks on the record - Hell Waits, Maybe and Hey seem to head in a few too many directions and take away from the tight pocket of sound they spend the rest of the record creating. Normally, when they loosen their grip and the songs start to shake, the band's expert touch helps keeps the structure in tact (Getting Dirty in the Afterlife, is a perfect example as they pull it back perfectly and the disarray transforms back to punchy verses and vocals).

But those minor complaints are really more nitpicking than anything else. I had high expectations for the record and The Got To Get Got easily Fosbury flopped over the bar. They also managed to supplement the local talent with some of the best musicians we have in the Canadian scene (members of Ohbijou, Plants & Animals, Sebastien Granger & The Mountains and the lovely Angela Desveaux) without disrupting the sound the band creates. If fact, without liner notes I doubt even the most devout fan could highlight the exact moments when the "ringers" help out.

The band will be opening for Jose Gonzales here on Thursday, June 25th at St. Matthew’s Church. It’s apparently going to be an acoustic set, so it should be something special.

MP3:: The Got To Get Got - Rattle Off

MP3:: The Got To Get Got - Getting Dirty in the Afterlife


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Posted at 7:59 AM by ack :: 2 comments

add to facebook add to Digg this Googlize this post add to Yahoo

At 4:24 PM, OpenID castleqwayr did sayeth:

Hey, I did a post about TGTGG on my blog today. I actually did 2 as I i thought of more I wanted to add :)


At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

Jose Gonzales is canceled now which sucks. I was looking forward to seeing TGTGG.


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