Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Go-"Free Electricity" (2001) unreleased

As regular readers must have now guessed, Thee Expressway is a huge fan of all things related to Detroit's underrated The Go. A close friend introduced me to them a few years back and I've been a huge fan ever since. This close friend also managed to scoop up a copy of their unreleased gem, "Free Electricity," which was supposed to be the Sub Pop follow-up to their garage stomper of a debut, "Watcha' Doin.'" Needless to say, the album has still never received a proper release, a crime if there ever was one, as this is an amazing garage-psych record that deserved the royal treatment. The full story has never been told, but, basically, Sub Pop rejected The Go's second album because it was a little too "different" than their debut, which probably means that the debut had piss-poor sales and the label didn't hear any singles. The band decided to move on and focus on recording their next record, leaving "Free Electricity" a mere myth. Well, luckily, someone close enough to the band (maybe the band themselves?) saw it fit enough to post on the internet.

The album is actually a great intro to the band because it features everything The Go are capable of, from amped up garage anthems to exploratory psych rippers. The opening title track kicks things off proper with one of those above-mentioned anthems, which is very reminiscent of "Machine Head" era Deep Purple. 'Secular Century Man' and 'Peacock Angel' are laid back garage-psych cruisers that'll have you reclined on the couch with a warm wind in yr ears. 'Pharaoh's Tomb,' 'Turnin' On,' and ''All Dimensions Are Loose' will take you back to the first album when Jack White was still blazing away with the band. 'Into Outer Space' see's the band veering into the ethereal space that fit them so well on their last record, "Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride." Perhaps my favorite track, and possibly the one that saw them dropped from Sub Pop, is 'Blood Red Sun,' an 11 minute psych-jam that relies heavily on a hall-of-mirrors saxophone that recalls "Fun House" era Stooges.

It's really too bad that Sub Pop passed on this, but I suppose the label was leaning towards commercial sales rather than indie cred, which, admittedly, the label already had heaps of. Safe-enough-for-the-mall bands like The Shins, Band Of Horses, Fleet Foxes, and Iron and Wine have been the primary focus of the label for the last few years, so it's really no wonder they passed on this "difficult" second record by The Go. It can now be yours...

Download "Free Electricity" here.

'Secular Century Man'

'Mothers of the Earth'

Live video of 'Free Electricity' and 'Watcha' Doin'

Very rare interview with band leader Bobby Harlow.


Anonymous said...

this album is the jam!

Kim Paris said...

Thanks for the fantastic post!

Anonymous said...

This is one of my all time favorite albums by any band...total classic, even if it hasn't been released yet!! Pharoah's Tomb is one of the best songs ever to come out of Detroit, right up there with No Fun, City Slang, or Kick Out The Jams, as far as I'm concerned!! Long Live The GO!!!