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Goat - World Music CD (album) cover

WORLD MUSIC

Goat

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.99 | 24 ratings

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Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I am a Goathead.

I admit that (if you'll pardon the choice of words) a little sheepishly, as an introverted ex-garage band drummer with two left feet who recently fell, after only a slight nudge from a Fellow Traveler in these Archives, under the spell of this young Scandinavian ensemble. Hardly surprising, given the colorful mystique the band has created for themselves, extending beyond the music itself toward some sort of arcane ethno-spiritual connection with the inner experience of communal song and syncopation.

Like THE RESIDENTS, the Goat collective understands the attraction of myth and mystery. You'll notice a lack of individual credits here, because the band insists on masking its shared identity...literally, using homemade masks and gaudy costumes. Even the total number of musicians is a dark secret, with (maybe) four employed in the studio but seven (or more) on stage. "All the members of Goat will never be seen together", says a spokesperson for the herd, adding a lot of portentous mumbo-jumbo about the past lives of the band in earlier generations.

So where does that leave the music? Their debut album is eclectic in design but totally uniform in quality, despite being released on vinyl in a rainbow of editions matching the kaleidoscope of influences behind it: Krautrock psychedelia; "Maggot Brain" Funkadelic grooves; Talking Heads intelligent dance circa "Remain in Light"; Scandinavian Black Metal; and the Beach Boys (the last two in their own words: personally I don't hear it). The female vocalist(s) tend to shout in exuberance instead of actually sing, but it's all part of the ongoing Dionysian frenzy of funked-out rhythms and freaked-out guitars.

The band may hail from Sweden, but are travelers on every continent: northern Europe, central Africa, creole America. Their backwoods hometown, supposedly a nexus of ancient voodoo sacrament and early Christian witch-hunts, is located above the Arctic Circle less than 30-kilometers from the border of Finland, which may explain the slight edge of insanity. Don't be surprised to hear a wild, Hendrix-inspired guitar solo give way to a gently unplugged acoustic coda. Or a heavy Space Rock adaptation of a Boubacar Traoré folk song. Or the sort of one-chord power raga not heard since the heyday of AMON DÜÜL II and AGITATION FREE, forty years earlier.

More than simply energetic, the album is celebratory. This is music ideally suited to forbidden rituals in dark forest glens: the perfect diversion for extroverted pagans. Which, of course, makes it very appealing to a flat-footed, freethinking wallflower like yours truly.

Look for the ceremony to continue with a new studio album, due next month as of this posting.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |

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