Treble-saturated percussion marred with a riveting guitar riff bent on cutting through the atonal white noise with a glistening pop melody. A reverberated string harmony that seems to linger in the atmosphere as thoughtful lyrics speak to us from a place of humility. Fiery grooves sewn together by a buzzing bassline, never so hot that we feel repelled by their angst-ridden energy. Whether it be “Reprise,” “Every Little Everything,” “Satisfaction” or any of the other sixteen songs that comprise Midway, listeners are sure to find something to swing to in Go Time!’s latest album. The music is as pummeling as a war drum, but the lyrics and rhythm couldn’t be much more approachable, inviting and full of boisterous swagger.
The guitars in “Ghost Inside of Me,” “Disparity” and “No Claims or Pretentions” are beastly and ready to come blaring out of the speakers with a damage-seeking intent. Their heavy riffs are matched by the lustrous bass and drum play, which acts as a terrific foundation to everything that we come in contact with in Midway. As its name implies, Midway feels like a trip to a roadside attraction, where the strange (“Role Reversal,” “Spare Parts,” “Parting Gift”) are met with the cosmetically beautiful (“Hole in My Mind,” “Awkward Truth”) and the inhumanly abstract (“Second Best,” “Sweet Ever After”) for a show that anyone who takes it in won’t soon forget. As well-defined as the individual players are, they become a singular sonic force in this record that is sonically powerful and more emotional than one would anticipate.
Lyrically, Midway is one of the more provocative and stylish rock albums of 2019 so far. Go Time! are really skilled at making music that equates the same level of catharsis and evocative poeticism that their words do, which isn’t all that common in alternative rock anymore. “Parting Gift” and “Best Intentions” leave a strong impression even with all of the instrumental raucousness they boast, and though the main draw to this record is its glass-shattering tonality, I think that there’s just as much to be said about the verses and their relationship with the arrangements that they’re united by. These songs are a lot more intricately designed than it would appear on the surface, which signifies just how committed to their craft Go Time! really are.
Authentic rock n’ roll is alive and well in Midway, and though there’s been a grave shortage of chest-pounding, electrified music in the last couple of years, pop is primed for the return of a sound like that of Go Time!, who appear to have mastered the art of the amplifier once and for all in this new release. Midway doesn’t try to weigh down its track listing with a lot of pseudo-intellectualism or pompous progressive nuances; it simply gives us the full package that Go Time! bring with them to the table, and I must admit, that package is a very wild one. Fans of legitimate, puritan hard rock look no further – a saving grace has arrived in the form of this high-powered LP.