* No bass-slapping allowed
The Go Rounds are a BAND in every sense of the word. They’re a quartet, each member tailoring to its own traditional rock planet to make up a solar system of one, and unlike most bands around here, they don’t stand up there doing a bunch of covers. The bassist and the drummer totally kick crow, and aside the lead singer/lead guitarist, the guy on the big hollow-body provides the social levity, leading the crowd in a chant of “String change distractions, string change distractions.”
But most of all, they’re human, and as such, subject to calamitous personality clashes. It was already evident on stage: the lead singer would say something like, “We’ve been touring for seven shows, and we still don’t hate each other,” with, unmistakeably, an ego as big as his huge, phallic instrument.
So let’s get into how he treats that instrument. The Go Rounds know no formula. Neither of their own nor of yore at large. Every song is an indispensible foray into the futuristic present. It’s like socializing, except it’s ROCK (My Morning Jacket being the most prominent discernible influence), it’s planets colliding, creating miasmas of color and beauty.
I must confess, I’d just got off work, and I got there during a slow song, and was sort of hoping I wouldn’t inadvertently crush my beer glass with my hand out of lingering edge. Quickly enough, on the second half, the pace quickened, and the room filled with oblivion, from Americana (bordering on Honky Tonk, more Ryan Adams than Son Volt, to their credit) to, basically, classic rock.
And indeed, a specific thought I had during the show was, THESE GUYS ARE AS GOOD AS LED ZEPPELIN. Though they’re so much different. First of all, they don’t rip off the blues, blues definitely isn’t even their primary palette.
I was discussing the band in the bathroom with some random dude, and he said he heard a Radiohead influence, but this was personally lost on me. I brought up MMJ, which is pretty hard to miss, but more than anything, and this is another thing I said, the band, even after you hear them, is as mysterious as the state of Michigan from which they come (Kalamazoo is their origin) — we’re still trying to figure out what the whole damn thing is. Indeed, as a resident of South Bend, Indiana, when I take trips up to Michigan, especially a place like its capital, and then come back home, crossing the borderline again, I sort of get the feeling of reentering civilization. I even said this to a girl who was from Muskegon, and she was like, Yeah, that sounds about right.
So here we have it. It’s better than grunge, because it’s not blues, and it’s sort of like a hoe-down, because it is very provincial here in “Michiana,” people not QUITE knowing how to act at a rock show like they do in the (Windy) city, but this is your new chainsaw-massacre, from the glove-shaped lake-bordered madland. Some glass-raising implied, if only to knock out that annoying dancing girl next to you.