Happy second day of summer GigTowners! The Radio Roulette wheel has been well worn into by now and with the season of top down, driving songs upon us, what better way to get things going than with some west coast jams by San Fransico's The Go Ahead!
“It Is Written” (from Cycles EP, released independently, October 2014, remastered January 2016)
Ah summer, the season of backyard barbecues, pool parties, and of course, multi-hour long concerts! It's hard to find a downside to all this eventual revelry, save for perhaps the occasionally unforgiving heat, which the U.S. west coast is unfortunately prone to on a daily basis. Thankfully, a little alternate thinking can make a big difference when trying not to let the thermometer digits dampen the mood and four piece San Franciso rock band, The Go Ahead, have a song with some solid balance in their track, “It Is Written.”
A band packing a structure of conventions straight out of the textbook rock band, The Go Ahead (Kyna Wise-lead vocals, Alex Mamelok-bass/vocals, Josh Hertz-guitar/vocals, Chris Kelly-drums) have been making music since 2010. (Formerly known as Jesús and the Rabbis.) “It Is Written” comes from a release well into the band's career and while this northern California quartet looks typical on the outside, “It Is Written” demonstrates the group's interest in playing with melodic choices that evoke the vibes of jazz and blues on the fronts of both instrumentals and vocals. The tone of Hertz's guitar reflects a sharper quality more akin to The Go Ahead's primary identifier of rock but the main melody's orbit revolving around minor, descending, and arpeggiated triads makes the song's attitude lean very heavily toward the flow of chromaticism and as such, only a few notes shy of the classic blues scale.
This motif sets the stage for the rest of the track, which soon gets a further boost toward the vibe of sleek and cool, as opposed to hard and fast. Wise's vocals drop in with smoothly connected, legato style execution and a tendency to hook together ends of some words with the beginnings of others – not enough to distort articulation but just enough to make her part feel like an uninterrupted river of lyrics. Factor in the sultry nature of the scene set in “It Is Written” and the song's panache might just make the temperature drop (or maybe heat up) depending on how one choose's to embrace it.
I feel my youth as I shake,
while you grace the small of my back.
What makes the real dash of intrigue for “It Is Written” though, is how and where The Go Ahead do inject rock qualities. The uproar of power chords that almost seem to stomp through each chorus and an enjoyable, guitar driven instrumental bridge – complete with third and octave interval harmonizing – are the blending backbone that gives the song its opposing edge. Keeping with this choice of harmonization in Wise's overdubbed vocals during the choruses makes structural sense and would deepen the lean back to rock well, though perhaps handling the upper harmonies with a bit more subtlety in the mix would have served the overall sound better.
“It Is Written” was released on The Go Ahead's EP, Cycles, in 2014 but a remastered version of the whole EP was just released in January of this year and is available on Bandcamp.
Keep in the loop with The Go Ahead through their official website and listen out for “It Is Written” on GigTown Radio! If you're digging that song, be sure to look up The Go Ahead in GigTown and go ahead and book the band for a gig and or catch her next show!