The Go Ahead reminds me of a time when rock could have that funky surfer side alongside depth and angst. Their new EP which came out in December last year is a testament that you can be breezy and full on at the same time and still feel coherent and complete.
Opener “Bones” has a surfer like open chord guitar delivery to its chords, the funky bass is really on point and the vocals of Kyna Wise has more in line with a country pop singer than a rocker. When she’s placed over a rolling rocker track is places The Go Ahead in an interesting middle ground between so many sub-genres, they feel unique as the band skims radio friendly but certainly does not embrace it. “On My Side” takes this a step further with a pop-rock ballad that will get stuck in your head and probably on your stereo. It’s the kind of track you’d find as a soundtrack for a superhero series or a melodramatic tv romance as its bright, shouty, hair rock tinged and full of drum rolls to be dramatic. “Bloodshed” is far more chilled and relaxed. The guitar work is sublime and feels more at home in an RnB track in the choruses before going for the Aerosmith feel in the bridges and choruses. The Go Ahead’s best strength is that each person brings songwriting and production thoughts to the mix and so each track either has a different edge or showcasing moment, and each instrument has its own moment to shine.
“Coastline” is possibly my favourite on the EP as its a lovely airy track with fluffy lyrics, a laid back chorus but a constant drive forward. It reminds me a little of Highasakite and that’s no bad thing as their brand of electro-rock is amazing. This track also evolves into something more of a trash rock finale to bring things to a rampant closure before going all 80’s Sting on us with “About to Burst”. Interplaying bass and synth stabs, quick-fire lyrics and a Springsteen tone, this track has summer single written all over it as its jangly guitars glisten in the audio sun. It’s also the track that feels the most introspective and deep. “Fuel” closes out the EP in typically chilled but powerful rock fashion. It involves the only real guitar solo on the EP but also contains the most synth work in the quieter early sections. What it does show though is how The Go Ahead is not afraid to switch genres, tempo, time signatures and tone during a four-minute track and that as an appreciator of music is an exciting prospect for the future.
What I took away from “In Harms Way” is that The Go Ahead have a really large palette of rock in their domain and they actively work to include different elements of that in the same song. Whilst that may mean on first listen you might see their tracks fall between the cracks, as you can’t insta-classify what they do as X, Y or Z – give them a few listens and you’ll really appreciate the level of scope they bring to each song. Watch out for them – they’ll be getting ahead!
Recommended Track: About to Burst