One of the greatest things a music-lover can experiences is the discovery of a new artist so exciting, so invigorating it makes the listener want to “really” write about it. Though I don’t write reviews under false pretenses I will admit many times I find myself writing reviews based on music that is to say the least – extremely forgetful. Sometimes, such jewels are found “underground” (or in this case Chicago) other than mainstream media, but then again, that’s just one of the reasons why the indie scene can be so fascinating and exciting at the same time. Case in point it’s a stage designed for creative people, a platform to let their art be seen, and in this case heard. There are 4 members of Go Time: Scott Niekelski (composer/lead guitar/vocals), Marko Marketti (bass) and Steve Grzenia. This packed to the hilt 19 Track release is called “Ratsel” and was released in 2015.
Enter DIY band “Go Time” who writes us catchy, well-crafted songs with lyrics that connect with the good in everyone. Their latest album “Ratsel” shows a flair for combining these with ’90’s indie guitar, pulsating rhythms and a love of the Punk. The result? Punk-friendly songs that stay with you long after the first listen. It’s a fact that some artists have been around for a while bit nonetheless exist beneath our radar screens. This band led by Scott Niekelski is one of these fun to listen type bands and up to now, no longer beneath the radar screen. They’ve also been beating the pavement on tour for quite some time. In my own words: Go Time is an innumerate, geographically diffuse, poly-generational band of creative folks who love doing this.
So how would I describe this CD “Ratsel?” Well for starters it’s a supernova of passion and sound exploding into your soul, a game changer in a world that needs a new musical direction. This latest string of 19 songs is so invigorating due to the charismatic musical persona of band leader Niekelski. To me it really sucks you in. This is kind of a non-conceptual record, inviting a listener to experience and relate to the depths and levity of the restless soul with traces of Ben Folds Five, Artic Monkeys, Kiser Chiefs, Kasbian, The Fratellis and even Miles Kane, with an Indie Rock feel. These latest string of songs present an amazing blend of Classic Psychedelic style Rock n’ Roll and even some Blues Fusion. On the first few tracks “The Secrets”, “Destroy In Field” and “Demand” Niekelski and the gang display a spot on mixture of all of the above styles. His voice coupled with his impressive songwriters touch is really the pinnacle of it all. His singing: soulful, pushing the envelope emotionally and somewhat chaotic. This is the perfect CD for late night college dorm bash, gathering, accompanied by an adjacent psychedelic party gone out of control. Now you get Indie rock.
“Ratsel” by Go Time has a special melodic element to it combining rocking fretwork, well placed harmonies, guitar-driven American rock-influenced beat that evolves perfectly as the CD advances. Enter in the sludgy “in your face” musicianship from these 4 combined with the clever lyrics you have the perfect setting for a lighthearted and fun CD entitled “Ratsel.”