“Get Going” – Headlights

Consciously or not, “Get Going” offers up delightful echoes of a band few may remember, and fewer probably listen to anymore, NRBQ. During their late ’70s comeback years, in and around their goofier bar-band numbers, NRBQ let loose a bunch of simultaneously breezy and memorable pop songs a whole lot like this one in tone, vibe, and spirit. The airy charm of Tristan Wraight’s tenor further recalls the unexpectedness sweetness infusing gems like “Ridin’ In My Car,” “I Want You Bad,” and “Me and the Boys.” Even the title sounds like something the ‘Q might have recorded.

But “Get Going” should likewise please the ear of the NRB-clueless. (Sorry; didn’t mean that as an insult, just couldn’t resist coining that phrase.) Listen to the way the melody in the verses keeps being drawn up: the lyrical lines each ending with an upward third interval, the middle of the line often pivoting on an upward fifth. Pop melodies much more typically lead in a general downward direction, the way water naturally heads towards lower ground. There’s something invigorating, if subtly off-kilter, in going against the norm in this way. The other thing I’m enjoying here is the guitar work, which engagingly interweaves an acoustic rhythm, an old-fashioned electric lead, and something unexpectedly drone-like. The way Erin Fein–normally the band’s lead vocalist–appears through a kind of underwater filter during the short bridge (1:36) is another whimsical highlight of this brief but emphatic song.

“Get Going” is from Wildlife, the Champaign-based quartet’s fourth album, released on Polyvinyl Records earlier this month. The band was previously featured on Fingertips for the wonderful song “Cherry Tulips” in January 2008. MP3 originally via Polyvinyl, but song lingers online on the music review site One Track Mind.



  1. Anonymous on Friday October 30, 2009

    Thanks for the mp3! I'm gonna push for it (and your post) over the next month here: http://k1chyd.adress.eksjo.com/steps-per-minute.htm#all


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