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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Review: Go Time! - Speak

Go Time! - Speak
2009, Go Time!

Chicago's Go Time! was born from the demise of longtime Windy City faves Prairie Town, coming together in October, 2007 with Prairie Towners Scott Niekelski (lead vox/ guitar); Mark Marketti (bass) and Steve Grzenia (drums) casting their lots together. Go Time! wasn't complete until ex-Cromulents and ex-One Million Monkeys axeman Paul Schmidt came along. 2009 sees the release of the debut album from Go Time!; Speak draws from the same well as fellow Mid-Westerners The Psychodots (aka The Bears); mixing a working-class vocal ethic with mildly crunchy rock tunes you can really dig into.

Speak opens with You Know, a relatively monochromatic rocker with a Lowest Of The Low guitar style and a mildly catchy melody. This is bar rock at its most essential; not highly memorable but good enough for a Saturday night. Rust To Rust picks up the pace a bit with an edgy guitar opening and a driving rhythm to kick things into high gear. Niekelski sounds a bit like Ian Anderson on vocals. This is an excellent tune, built on a melody you won't be able to shake and a compact, concise arrangement that keeps things moving nicely. My Suicide is a high-energy, upbeat song about giving up and walking away; more about change than death, the song is a thoughtful for a rock tune that features some killer guitar work. Too Far Gone has a classic Southern/Garage Rock sound, like something Skynyrd might kick around in practice.

Wait And See continues with the Southern Rock style in a catchy and solid tune that likely plays well in front of a crowd. The relationship angst here is a bit atypical for the style but works well. Hey Day breaks out the Rockin' Rhythm N Blues in a dark tune that sounds more like the Tragically Hip than anyone else I can think of. No Sense To Lend harkens back to the 1960's Folk/Rock scene with a tune that's a decent listen but doesn't make a significant impression. Just Don't Know Why, on the other hand, is highly danceable Rock N Roll that will have you up and moving before the intro's done. Cost lays it open with a bit of Guitar/Pop/Punk that's as fun to listen to as I'm sure it is to play. Imagine if the Ramones and The Knickerbockers jammed together; it might sound something like this. Go Time! closes out with similar energy on the guitar rocker Cut And Run.

Go Time! is a strong band with decent material and a fun and frothy Garage aesthetic. Speak is a fitting debut for a band that's steeped in the past but hasn't forsake the future. The melodies in here range from average to above average, and there's a distinct emphasis on structure (thanks to the rhythm section of Marketti & Grzenia) that allows the band to stay tight in spite of the Lo-Fi approach. Speak is worth checking out, although I suspect Go Time! has more impact live than comes across on CD.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Go Time! at You can purchase Speak as either a CD or download through

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