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Have The Go! Team really been, well, Go!ing for a decade? It would seem so. 2004's Thunder, Lightning, Strike still sounds astonishingly fresh, presumably preserved by the sheer density of musical E-numbers pumped into it by the band's creator / producer, Ian Parton. A warm, glitchy and resolutely lo-fi conjuring of double-dutch playground chants and lost TV theme tunes, Thunder... was a beguiling debut, showcasing a sound which seemed to strive for the purest kind of enjoyment. 2007's Proof of Youth refined and toughened that sound; a move which perhaps lost some of the wonky charm that had defined The Go! Team in the first place, but was nevertheless huge fun. It's now been four years since the similarly raucous Rolling Blackouts, and in that time Parton and the rest of the band, including lead vocalist and MC, Ninja, have parted ways.

That's not to suggest that The Scene Between is a solo project, far from it in fact: Ian Parton has solved the problem of his missing vocalist(s) by recruiting a raft of unknowns (even to him). It works brilliantly, diluting an absence that could be far more keenly felt than it is. The rotating of voices achieves a kind of radio dial-tuner effect - albeit a radio which is tuned to a series of relentlessly positive stations with remarkably fine taste in sun-drenched jangle (Jeremy Vine is presumably nowhere to be found on Parton's radar).

Also softening the blow of Ninja's absence is a subtle shift away from the MC-led call-and-response riffs which so dominated the last record. There is a palpable move towards songcraft, finding more in common this time with bands like The Concretes, The Radio Dept. and Camera Obscura. 'Did You Know' is a perfect example of this; it's got two verses, and a middle eight and everything! This could be a move lamented by fans, but the undeniable quality and addictive nature of the songwriting - and crucially, the choruses - mean that there can be little disgruntlement with the change of pace.

Some things remain largely the same: those signature crashy beats and tinkly pianos are still out in force, and while the vocals may occasionally stray a little too far into cutesy territory, they are nearly always tempered by Parton's obvious love for sonic snippets and crunchy distortion. At points, The Scene Between feels like a consolidation of Parton's ideas thus far; rarely have carefully managed soundscapes appeared so effortless.

The whole record rides a wave of positive energy, punctuated by sweet interludes which recall the debut's playground atmosphere ('Rolodex the Seasons' could be the kid cousin of 'Get It Together' from Thunder, Lightning, Strike). Optimism may be perennially out of fashion, but you'd have to be a pretty hardcore miseryguts to deny The Scene Between; it is simply irresistible, joyful music. By the time 'The Art of Getting By (Song For Heaven's Gate)' rolls around with what seems to be four or five different school-assembly choruses, I was smitten. A decade on, Parton's bucolic summer vision is undiminished, and still sounds as crisp as the freshly-popped beer can that heralds the start of this album. You will hear better records than The Scene Between this year; none will put a bigger smile on your face.

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