Get Set Go
Presents Sunshine, Joy, & Happiness
First Appeared in The Music Box, March 2008, Volume 15, #3
Written by John Metzger
Sun March 2, 2008, 07:10 PM CST
Is Get Set Go a band that wants to be taken seriously? Or is the group simply out to have a grand, old time? Admittedly, it never has been easy to tell, and the truth likely may lie somewhere in between these extremes. Nevertheless, Get Set Go hasnít done very much to help its cause because its lyrics have been so ridiculously goofy and simplistic that it has been easy to dismiss the outfit without giving the matter too much thought. Just as a book ought not to be judged by its cover, however, Get Set Go ought not to be underestimated. The outfit might yet have a few tricks up its sleeve, even if it hasnít quite figured out how to use them.
In this regard, Presents Sunshine, Joy, & Happiness, Get Set Goís latest endeavor, isnít very different from its predecessors. In fact, principal songwriter Mike TV even had the gall to recycle the pedestrian rhyming scheme of linking "liar," "fire," and "wire" that he previously had employed on Tighten the Verses, a track from last yearís Selling Out and Going Home. Itís possible, of course, that he simply isnít capable of moving beyond his elementary school forays into poetry. Then again, this appears to be such a deliberate move that itís more likely that he merely is trying to have some fun while he makes his point, whatever that may happen to be.
Because the tongue-in-cheek aspect of Mike TVís writing style was missed on Get Set Goís prior endeavors, he went overboard this time in trying to prove that he has a message to deliver. By countering the pleasantness that is invoked by Presents Sunshine, Joy, & Happinessí christened name with an equally absurd subtitle ó A Tragic Tale of Death, Despair, and other Silly Nonsense ó he highlighted the opposing concepts that are at play within his work. For all of the bright and shiny melodies that Get Set Go dispenses, Mike TVís words continue to wander across darker terrain as he sulks about his love life as well as the fate of the world. Unfortunately, he also never gets past his own cliches.
The prevailing mood of Presents Sunshine, Joy, & Happiness, however, is the one that is established by Get Set Goís perky music. Blending garage rock with plenty of pop shadings, the group tucks odes to The Beatles and the Velvet Underground into Youíll Look Beautiful as You Burn and Hell on Earth, respectively. Most of the time, though, Get Set Go is content with simply reworking The Whoís classic 1960s canon by adding handclaps and cheesy organ sounds to How Now and folding the silliness of The Who Sell Out into the Monty Python-ish Cannibalism Is the Cure.
Regardless, Get Set Goís inexperience eventually catches up with the band, and when it does, it completely sinks Presents Sunshine, Joy, & Happiness. Although the set begins as an exhilarating romp through a series of retro-minded textures, it rather rapidly becomes nothing more than a dullish bore. It doesnít help either that although many of the melodies that Get Set Go crafted are easy to embrace, they also are difficult to remember. Consequently, when Mike TV takes on bigger issues ó as he does on Modern Age ó his plainspoken messages are lost in the muddle of his ear-tickling arrangements. In the end, Presents Sunshine, Joy, & Happiness provides no more nutrition than a giant wad of cotton candy. It sounds great for a moment ó and there are times when it is quite delightful ó but it inevitably leaves a bellyache and a bad aftertaste in its wake. Ĺ
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2008 The Music Box