The Go was arguably the first Detroit band in the lamentably coined "garage rock" scene to bust out of the Detroit dive-bar circuit and go national when its Sub Pop debut, Watcha' Doin, dropped a decade ago. Truth be told, the Go's mystic mix of reverb-dripping pop and psychedelia springs from a much more underground source than a garage.
You see, the Go's studio and rehearsal space for most of the last 10 years has been the Berkley basement of bassist-guitarist John Krautner's grandfather. Free rent is a big bonus there, and perhaps it all works out only because spry 94-year-old grandpop Richard Bowen — a retired GM metallurgist — has been deaf since the age of 12. "We can blast the stereo at four in the morning and my grandfather doesn't hear it," Krautner says.
Indeed, it's easy to lose track of time in the carpet-covered, soundproofed walls of the Go's basement studio — it's all guitars, basses, drums, synths and tape delays with no other distractions.
"The clock's been broken down here for years" say singer-guitarist Bobby Harlow. Currently John, Bobby and drummer Mark Fellis have laid down eight songs for their follow-up to 2007's winning Howl on the Haunted Beat You Ride. The new songs retain the Go's signature hard-rocking, trippy pop but now with tighter, funkier drums. Indeed one song, "Let the Sirens Go," features a bass line with sonics that sound like a 1973 Stevie Wonder session. "We're trying to mess with the funk chromosome," Harlow grins. The band hopes to have the new album out in the fall.
To listen to the Go, point your browser to myspace.com/thegodetroit. You can also check out some songs from the Go's great lost second Sub Pop record Free Electricity at tinyurl.com/olqur4. The Go's overlooked 2008 double album Tracking the Trail of the Haunted Beat (outtakes from 2007's Howl on the Haunted Beat You Ride) is available on Bellyache/Italy Records. Their new single "Howl on the Haunted Beat You Ride" b/w Serge Gainsbourg's "Scenic Railway" is available on April '77 Records. And no Mr. Wiseguy, "Howl on the Haunted Beat You Ride" does not appear on the album of the same name.