Albums of the Month for February 2023: Young Fathers and The Go! Team

Welcome to the new format of album reviews on Panorama of the Mountains!  Last year I wrote about 40 reviews in the album of the week format but felt I was rushing to listen to and review new albums.  I’m hoping this year I’ll have more time to listen to albums multiple times and then provide more expansive thoughts on them in my reviews.  Let’s kick this off with two of my perennial favorite bands Young Fathers and The Go! Team.

Album: Heavy Heavy
Artist: Young Fathers
Release Date: February 3, 2023
Label: Ninja Tune
Favorite Tracks:

  • I Saw
  • Sink or Swim
  • Holy Moly
  • Be Your Lady

Thoughts: Young Fathers, the trio from Edinburgh, Scotland, return after a five year absence to follow up their terrific album Cocoa Sugar (#234 on my all time favorite albums list).  Young Fathers have never been content with one genre and work a lot of styles – funk, industrial, hip hop, soul, pop, electronica, punk – into their sonically dense recordings.  A number of the songs are built with chant-like singing over a drone with the tension building over the course of the track.  Two of the band’s members have African heritage so the African influence is noticeable but this music should not be mistaken for an African style.  The ancestry of this music is as undefinable as the genre.  The album starts of well and I think the final three tracks are the best part, but it sags a bit in the middle.  Then again, the tracks and the album are quite short so you won’t have time to complain.  On the whole this album doesn’t hold up to Cocoa Sugar, but it’s still a great release by a thoughtful and innovative band.
Rating: ***1/2

Album: Get Up Sequences Part Two
Artist: The Go! Team
Release Date: February 3, 2023
Label: Memphis Industries
Favorite Tracks:

  • Look Away, Look Away
  • Divebomb
  • Stay and Ask Me in a Different Way
  • The Me Frequency


Britain’s quirky indie pop/plunderphonics act The Go! Team return with the follow-up to last year’s Get Up Sequences Part One.  The band’s Ian Parton describes this album as a “global fruit salad,” grabbing the good parts of musical styles from around the world to incorporate in their upbeat but lofi sound.  Politically, the album is a reaction to Brexit, letting the world in.  But you may be too busy dancing to spend to much time on the message.  The guest artists roster is long and includes West African girl group Star Feminine Band, Indian Bollywood playback singer Neha Hatwar, Kokubo Chisato from J-Pop indie band LucieToo, Detroit rapper IndigoYaj, Hilarie Bratset (formerly of Apples in Stereo), and Brooklyn rapper Nitty Scott. Despite all that, I don’t feel like The Go! Team is branching out all to much in innovating on the sounds from their previous albums.  But a sense of sameness can be good if the music was good to start with, and I think this is a step up from Get Up Sequences Part One.

Rating: ***1/2

90 Movies in 90 Days: The Battle of San Pietro (1945)

I’m kicking off 2023 by trying to watch and review one movie every day for the first 90 days, all of which will be 90 minutes or less.

Title: The Battle of San Pietro
Release Date: May 3, 1945
Director: John Huston
Production Company: Army Pictorial Service

This documentary/propaganda film shot for the War Department by Hollywood director John Huston depicts a key battle in which the Allied forces capture a small town that controls entry to a valley in southern Italy.  The narration takes a just the facts approach but the visuals offer an unflinching account of the horrors of the war.  This begins with the prologue of the film that states the Italian villagers are preparing a future for their children and then immediately cutting to image of a dead child.  Later in the film, several American soldiers killed in battle are shown being tied into body bags.  The realism has lead to The Battle of San Pietro being called an anti-war film, although when it was shown to troops it was recognized as showing the sacrifice necessary to win the war.

Rating: ***