Go 2 by XTC

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Go 2 by XTC
Go 2 by XTC

Album Released: 1978

Go 2 ::: Artwork

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1.Meccanik Dancing (Oh We Go!)2:35
2.Battery Brides (Andy Paints Brian)4:30
3.Buzzcity Talking2:45
4.Crowded Room3:05
5.The Rhythm3:00
8.Life Is Good In The Greenhouse4:45
9.Jumping In Gomorrah2:00
10.My Weapon2:18
12.I Am The Audience3:40


I regret the low rating, but I promised myself I’d try to be honest about my ratings, so there you go. Although XTC would become one of the most important and consistent (in my opinion) British bands of the eighties and nineties, their first two efforts are decidedly sub-standard.

Whereas White Music was 'saved' by a handful of good tracks, there’s nothing much to redeem the painfully weak second half of this album - especially Andrews’s two songs, that barely transcend White Music's dreadful cover version of “All Along the Watchtower”.

But let’s return to the highlights that are handily grouped on the first half of the album first. The juddering “Meccanic Dancing” has verses as fractured as they come, with weird ska-like guitar accents, cheap keyboard effects, and Partridge nearly hiccupping the lyrics in a robotic way. The chorus is fairly conventional though, and leans closer to the band’s later pop stuff.

"Battery Brides" is surprisingly relaxed, as the moderate pace, recurring bassline, and the sci-fi keyboards remind of both the 70’s ambient of Eno (to whom the song is dedicated) and also The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” (I swear I’m not making this up!). Add to that the pleasant ska-punk of “Crowded Room”, and there you go - that's the worthwhile songs.

Oh wait, there’s probably more that might tickle your interest or satisfy your cravings for mechanized wave. Maybe the ascending/descending patterns in “The Rhythm” sound well thought-out to some listeners, or the nervy and disjointed ska of “Red”.

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Rated: album ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum rating
by Reviewer: Guy Peters (blogging at Guy's Music Review Site)

A weak one this, probably the least good XTC album, but also unjustly kicked by many.

GO 2 is a classic sophomore album though - a band that had years to build up material in preparation for their first album, are suddenly thrust into the studio again, with just a few weeks to one-up their younger selves.

The album starts off on entirely the wrong foot. “Meccanik Dancing” and “Buzzcity Talking” are brash clumsy rockers that sound like attempts to justify the band’s detractors, while the dirgey “Battery Brides” shows that Partridge has not yet learned from the mistake that was the debut's “I’m Bugged”.

Thankfully, things pick up starting with “Crowded Room”. There are some very high highlights from that point on, like the spiky ska-punk of “Red”, and “Beatown”, with its extended astral coda. Lead single “Are You Receiving Me?” (a bonus track) was a spectacular success (not commercially of course. Just a success inside my own fevered brain). But there are also misfires like “Life Is Good in the Greenhouse”.

Part of the problem was the infighting within the band, which led to the departure of Barry Andrews shortly after this album’s release. Andrews recorded four songs for the album, but Partridge - jealously guarding his role as leader - kept Andrews’ best songs off the album. Partridge has since come clean about his control-freakdom and made up with his ex-keyboardist, but he can’t change history.

Both the Andrews songs that made it are good, but a bit out-of-place; “My Weapon” is a bit of pointless cock-rock parody, and “Super-Tuff” squanders a great damaged-reggae groove on a slighty WTF-inducing attempt at a gang-war narrative.

Rated: album ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum rating
by Reviewer: S M Hellebore