THE GO! TEAM: “Proof Of Youth” [Sub Pop]

If for some bizarre reason you’ve remained immune to the candy-colored charms of the Go! Team’s 2005 debut Thunder, Lightening, Strike, then for the love of God, avoid this one like the plague. Because when it comes down to it, Proof Of Youth is pretty much more of the same: blaring Motown horns, double Dutch chants, cheerleader exuberance, blaxploitation soundtracks, early-’80s hip-hop party joints and guitar riffs lifted wholesale from Daydream Nation-era Sonic Youth. All this usually occurs within the same song (listen to frenetic opener “Grip Like A Vice” for proof).

The pace is relentless, egged on by a Phil Spector-on-crack production style that only adds to the general air of genial chaos. Proof Of Youth is less sample-heavy than its predecessor, and there’s a host of guest stars on hand including Solex and Chuck D. Occasionally, it veers dangerously close to being irritatingly perky—as if the kids from Peanuts had formed a band after one too many bong hits—but ultimately, only a churlish, dead-eyed cynic would refuse to be moved by this inspired mix of riotous noise and feel-good vibetasticness. []

—Neil Ferguson