"Go For It" might very well be punk's best keep secret. Much like the Clash's "London Calling" and Bad Brain's "I Against I," the rich album explodes out of the restrictions of the genre with a melting pot of diverse influences and songwriting. The band's goal was to make a pure singles album with every song designed to stand on its own with a unique voice, and for the most part they somehow pull it off convincingly. A common theme of taking risks and well "going for it" does seem to emerge throughout a wide variety of lyrical topics that seem to cover everything under the sun. Seriouisly, name a topic and the main songwriting team of Burns/Ogilvie probably presents it in a fresh, straightforward, and intelligent way on this album; sex, love, alienation, domestic violence, working class angst, random violence, rocking out, and even the problem with young marriages of convience.
The aggression of punk is either controlled or not present at all though every song is dripping with very urgent passion in both playing and Burn's wonderful singing voice that ranges from soft and pleasant to hoarse and emotional. Like the musicianship, the production is very accomplished and of unusual high quality for the genre and era. The popular opening cover of "Roots, Radicals..." surpisingly leans more towards the up-tempo righteous rage of Punk than Ska, while moody Dub dominates slow ballads like the melancholy "The Only One" and the soaring powerhouse "Safe as Houses." "Just Fade Away" and "Kicking up Racket" are upbeat pop guitar jubliations,and Cluney's romantic rockabilly number "Gate 49" might be the most sincere and understated of the common "life on the road" rock songs. The title track is a marching instrumental that you've probably heard before without realizing it while a horn section emphasizes the bittersweet longing of "Silver Linging" even better than the easy releatabe down to the earth lyrics. But simply praising the exciting diversity of the songwriting is to ignore what makes this album really work, its the uncommon way the band honestly takes the songs to heart without making them too weighty that really sets them apart form their peers. Preaching without really preaching if you will. It should also be noted that even with the occassional dark or angry corner, the album is almost always easy on the ears, beyond catchy, and very hopeful; it's also a ton of fun with incredible pop highs always on the horizon. I would go so far as to say this might very well be the best album to emerge from the punk scene in the 80s, it is really that great and underlooked.