Trading on their links with the mercurial Manu Chao, the Go Lem System have released a bright and breezy album — but does it measure up?
Although two of the band are Argentinian, Go Lem System are part of the Barcelona scene that has given us the layered brilliance of Ojos de Brujo and the catchy protestations of Amparanoia. Go Lem System have the catchy hooks but the Iberian rock/ska package sometimes lacks the element of surprise that many of their contemporaries are displaying.
Fans of Manu Chao will recognise his distinctive vocal tones on the final track ‘Calle Go Lem’, an upbeat ska number with added police sirens. It’s also the stand-out track from the album, can this man do no wrong?
At the other end of the scale (and the CD) is the opener ‘Jeroglifico’, a saxed up rock number that may do well at home but offers little for the export market. Fortunately, all is forgiven soon with the next up being a richer mix of ska and jazz bouncing along to a catchy chorus on ‘Seis de cualquier cosa’.
All in all, a pretty decent album with tracks to burn and a few to skip.
Go Lem System – Caceria will be released on 10 July 2006 on Satélite K
Tour dates for the UK being finalised but you can catch them at:
Llangolllen International Eisteddfod – 6 July
Mirrorball in the Park (Free Event) – 7 July, Blackhill and Consett Park
Bishops Waltham – 8 July, Theatre Royal Winchester