Every so often during our rich popular music history, a band of decent esteem releases something so superfluous that you wonder if its members are supporting a nasty drug habit. The Go! Team has done this to us with a collection of live cuts called Audio Assault Course: The College Radio Sessions.
It’s unbelievable that the Manchester indie collective that’s known for fun, engaging live performances should release such a lackluster, underwhelming set of alternate versions. Each of the EP’s six live cuts lacks the fuller, tighter sound of the originals off the immensely enjoyable Thunder, Lightning, Strike!, and they have few changes in tone or pacing. Sure, Audio Assault Course was offered as a free promotional disc at different outlets, such as Revolution Records. But it still doesn’t do the band justice.
The bonus cut on this disc is Kevin Shields’ mash-up remix of “Huddle Formation” and “Ladyflash,” cleverly titled “Huddle Flash.” But the track never becomes anything more than a conversational novelty, like Billy Corgan remixing Lenny Kravitz or any other unlikely musical odd couple.
Nothing is overly offensive about Audio Assault Course; all the performances are fairly accurate in terms of design. But it just sounds like a karaoke band’s version of the Go! Team’s songs. It’s just better to see them perform live in person than to sit through this trivial EP.