Debut EP Review: “Addict” by Go Robot
Rock band Go Robot is a passion project fronted by Oxford musician Zach Wilmott. Today, they released their debut EP Addict. The self-produced EP explores alienation, isolation and the very struggles that echo through our modern day lives. The new record was mastered by Steve Kitch (Scouting for Girls, The Pineapple Thief).
The review – part 1
Inspired by a documentary on gangstalkers in the US, EP opener ‘Caged Pigeon’ is an exploration of the kind of paranoia that causes us to distance from the majority of society. Although the track was written over 6 months ago, the themes of isolation and tension are now more appropiate than ever. With its strutting guitar riffs and defiant moments of distortion, ‘Caged Pigeon’ is definitely a strong opener that grabs your attention from the very start. The chorus then erupts with its striking brass instrumentation and the vocals soar in their spirit and vigour. With its build up, sheer energy and fluid instrumentation, the rich and wonderfully agressive ‘Caged Pigeon’ reminds you of something you would hear during a climax of Quentin Tarantino movie. At the same time, it also manages to warmly nod to the early sound of Kasabian.
On the other hand, the rest of the EP has a more tranquil and reflective tone. ‘Unravel’ twinkles with its the warm keys and the rolling drums. Yet, the chaos and defiance of ‘Caged Pigeon’ still manages to make its brief appearances in the closing minute. Here, the instrumentation opens up with its dominating guitar riffs and soaring vocals.
Released in August 2019, ‘Smoke’ was the band’s debut single and it is still my favourite from the EP. The song begins with some beautiful acoustic guitar riffs, before descending into a heartfelt melancholy. It is the warmest and most nostalgic track, shining with wonderful string arrangements and vintage snyths. They beautifully coat the inner monologues on the pressure and anxiety we impose onto ourselves. The wonderous synths continue in the penultimate track ‘In The Dark’, with its eerie and sci-fi demeanor. Here, Go Robot’s proficiency in the electronic sphere shine brightly in their persistence and storytelling.
Finally, in the closing track ‘The Gallows’, it almost seems as if the flares of the previous tracks are combined, merging them into a joyous yet bittersweet and haunting composition. From the start of the EP’s leading single, the warm yet gritty guitar riffs help the listener groove along to the track’s reflection. And where the the guitar riffs groove, the haunting keys and heart-beating drums fuel the track’s escapism and alluring pull. It displays the protagonist looking back on a relationship with a sex addict, wandering from moment to moment, trying to figure out what went wrong. Here, the protagonist yearns for forgiveness and closure. With this instrumentation, ‘The Gallows’ guides you down dark, uncertain paths, but it comfortingly holds you hand through it.
With its explorations on what we feel when we’re isolated from society, Addict by Go Robot is a timely and thought-provoking EP. The majority of the tracks begin with an alluring yet haunting quality, fueled by the eerie guitars and synths. Yet, with every chorus, you are ultimately uplifted into different spheres of optimism – despite the uncertainty and darkness that still looms underneath them.
However, with every twist, turn and insight that the EP provides, here comes a realisation. For an EP that offers great exploration into the very tensions that trouble our very lives, it is a suprise that the louder voice in Addict is not a vocal one. If anything, it is the experimental and tantalising instrumentation that gets you thinking and feeling. Shifting from rock to electronica, Addict by Go Robot is a wonderful example of what musical freedom allows.
Listen to Addict by Go Robot below!
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