Lasers through tracing paper, orange tone oscillations, cable access hangover, a K-tel dream sequence, a haunted vision mixer, station wagon-core, straight to video, something in the fog, fluff on the needle, chromakey constellations, a hovercraft on the fret board, faxing a car alarm, a Morse code pep talk, etch a sketch jacknife, a daily Haley’s comet, light sound colour motion, a holiday from yourself, Ceefax taking Oracle, second sight summer camp, 360 degree tunnel vision, Chinese whispers by post, the opposite of hula hooping, the geometry of ideas, a teleprompter for your dreams, carry the ten, pathways in patchwork.
Last album Rolling Blackouts became a natural end chapter for The Go! Team with members splintering off into different musical projects (check Ian Parton’s involvement with new pysch band Whyte Horses and huge Jpop outfit Momoiro Clover Z, Sam Dook’s Cuz with Minutemen’s Mike Watt and Ninja’s solo endeavours), get married, teach, experience real life. Bandleader Parton took the opportunity to return to the working methods he’d used at the origins of the band – crate digging, trying to nail a feeling, writing and recording the album by himself.
Unlike debut album ‘Thunder, Lightning, Strike’ though, The Scene Between is an album about singing – about pushing the melodic side of The Go! Team sound. Parton elaborates “I wanted to make an album driven by melody and song writing because catchiness is the hardest thing you can do. Brill Building hooks but permeated with a kind of wobbly VHS feel”.
Parton had four rules before starting: melody would guide the song, samples would be treated as an instrument rather than a basis for the song, the production would vary across the song like flipping the dial on a radio and the singers must all be people he’d never previously heard of. Matching the song to the right voice wherever that voice was in the World, an outreach programme for bedroom-core DIY artists. Voices you’ll hear include Emily Reo (US), Samira Winter (BR), Atom (CN), Casey Sowa (US), Doreen Kirchner (US), Glockabelle (FR) plus an African gospel choir and an Atlantan vocal trio.
The Scene Betweenstarts with the sound of fizzing soda and a descending analogue burble which gives way to the opening line of What Do You Say? "all the summers I never had – well I'm making up for it". It’s the cross section of a Saturday, e-bow perma-flow drone pop, a summer of action, maxing the minute maid. Title track The Scene Between begins as a wilderness awakening, a melody as undulating as the bends in a river, skimming the treetops, a Yellowstone flypast, before dive-bombing the song into a chopped and channelled shakedown, flipping from country to city. An SOS kick drum against a circular dulcimer pattern, a woman’s choir and a distorted recorder.
Waking the Jet Streamis straight to video harmonix, clattering drums, dodging flowcharts, an anti – work, anti – now. Rolodex the Seasons is a dictaphone hoedown, a marshmallow over a campfire, a year in a two minute time-lapse. It gives way to Blowtorch, which goes from a bratty wall of sound to sitar drones, to Byrds-esque chimey guitars to Snoopy piano and back again. Catch Me On The Rebound is backcombed to oblivion pop, played on a rusty guitar with one string.
Her Last Waveis the final message from a girl surfer drowning at sea. The space gospel of The Art of Getting By was imagined as a choral anthem for the UFO cult Heaven’s Gate – a soundtrack to their final ascension to space: “taking the only way we know, taking the only thing that matters”. Album closer Reason Left To Destroy is inspired by Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ – “the idea of someone arriving in a small town and bringing trouble with them”.
The Scene Between, begun as a studio only project with the live version of The Go! Team still on hibernation, sees Parton nail the feelings like never before. It’s anticipated to be released via Memphis Industries on 23 March 2015.