The Go Ahead – Cycles (2016)

the go aheadThe Go Ahead is a four piece alternative band from San Francisco. I use the term alternative because their sound is more than just rock, with a soulful vocal and funky blues bass lines; they are more than just another rock band. They released an EP a while back called Cycles and since have had it re-mastered.

The four track EP starts with ‘It Is Written’, it has a very blues rock feel to it and kind of reminds me of some of Janis Joplin’s work. Every aspect of the song is very early rock and roll with a slightly more modern and maybe even heavier twist to it. The only thing I feel is letting it down so far is the vocal. I feel like Kyna has more to give, there is a deep soulful sound on the tip of her tongue, and it would just add that extra depth.

The second track ‘No Apologies’ has less of those bluesy undertones and a bit more of an early ’emo’ sound to it, the vocals fit much better on this track. The verses are very minimalist, it leads into that big bold chorus, and makes it stand out. The layered harmonies on the vocals work well, and the hard-hitting beat drives home the rock influences. There is a guitar solo part, which again really forces you to focus on the rock influence. To finish this song they use a combination of the female vocal with added male gang vocal. It is in all fairness a very catchy song.

Track three, ‘Checked Out’, is very Red Hot Chili Peppers, who are listed as an influence of the band; however, part of the chorus does have a more grunge influence. The vocals again fit much better with this overall style than the more blues-based first track. The bass line keeps the track moving and stops it feeling stagnant. It is definitely a defining feature of all the songs, drowning out the guitar in most instances, until those solo parts.

The final track, ‘Just Fine’, goes back to the blues style and overall has a much more upbeat feel. I don’t think this particular track goes very well with the rest of the EP; it’s, without a doubt, the odd song out.

I think the EP is a very solid attempt, with a few tweaks I think the band could really own their style. I’m still not sold on the last track; it doesn’t sit right with the others; however, I like the crossover between rock and blues, it’s almost a ‘back to roots’ project. Very rock and roll, in the old school sense of the phrase.

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