Eight Ball LP by Go Time

There’s plenty of arguments debating when Rock allegedly “died”. Some try to suggest it was the 60s, and some even the mid to late ’70s in the midst of the rise of disco. Judging from the Chicago band “Go Time!”, rock is plenty alive and well. Kicking off with the action-packed heart racing opener “Fairy Tale Scenario”, Go Time! are here to let you know what they’re about.¬†¬†Great beats, memorable lyrics filled with thought, sometimes humor, other times reeking of melancholy, and never ever boring. “Carrying the load” is a slower-paced jam which says a lot considering the band is always operating at 100% speed, with its story of carrying burdens always even as you move forward in your life. “Critical Task” has the most modern sound of the album I’d argue, at once sounding like the throwback instrumentals of the Smiths with its beautiful wavey-ness and in points, even sounds like today’s indie-rock, no doubt helped by the distinct flavoring choices of the guitar and keyboard.

The titular “Eight Ball” channels some vintage ACDC goodness with its blown-out sounds and power ballad anthem lyrics. “Planned Withdrawl” has a fantastic piano intro with acts as a wonderful addition to what we’ve been used to listening to up until this point. I’d also argue its vocal harmonies are probably the best on the album which has plenty of great lyric performances.

APPLE MUSIC: music.apple.com/us/album/eight-ball/1550477083

The middle chunk of the album including “On the Shore”, “Broken and Rusted” and “What I Miss” take a slightly darker edge, not baked in pessimistic detail, but a kind of sadness that lingers as apparent as it is in those titles listed above. Even when things pick back up in the seemingly upbeat sounding “Moments of Compassion”, darker edges stick out with lines like “No one hears my worthless cries” which also carries a fun multilayer vocal backing. “All or Nothing” sounds like a 90s Blur track with its frenetic drumming and hearty guitar work. “Upper Hand” is another slower beat, which also switches up the vocalist we’ve been used to prior and it’s a nice welcome change of pace, once again proving the versatility of the band.

Some might find the vocal shift a little jarring, and admittedly it’s a little less confident than what we’d been familiar with up until then, but all of the vocals work in tandem with the songs across the runtime. There are some fun breakdowns in the middle of a lot of these songs, playing on the nature of winding down only for things to ratchet back up like the aforementioned “Upper Hand” and it’s always fun when they use that sleight of hand trick. The album closes with the alt-rock with some surf rock reinterpretation thrown in track “Quiet Allegation” and it’s a fitting end to this record. Each member is working overtime to give the performance of their lives like it’s the last time they’ll play and you can feel their hard work and sweat with every chord produced. Highly recommended.

Clay Burton