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Goat - Commune CD (album) cover

COMMUNE

Goat

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.92 | 13 ratings

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Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The colorful voodoo cult mystery band from the Scandinavian hinterlands has emerged from their woodland sanctum with another lively sampling of psychedelic / funkadelic / enigmatic dance music, after making a prismatic splash with their 2012 debut album "World Music". The names and faces of the individual players are still disguised behind an excess of eye-catching bal-masqué camouflage, but they can't hide the vitality of the music itself, no less invigorating the second time around.

For their sophomore trip the group dialed back the contagious Afro-Beat party vibe of "World Music", relying instead more on their trademark, throwback Psych-Rock grooves and riffing, cued by the transcendental call of a Tibetan gong at the top and bottom of the album. Ringing guitars and a driving rhythm inaugurate the opening ritual "Talk to God", but we're not invoking Yahweh here: the music of Goat celebrates the elemental cosmology of older, more profane deities, the ones who enjoyed coming down from the clouds to boogie with the congregation, begetting a few half-human demi-gods along the way.

The song gives the album an irresistible kickoff, matched by the equally hypnotic (and even louder) "Gathering of Ancient Tribes", the two tracks positioned like dynamic bookends in a secret library of forbidden knowledge. In between are several shorter, less essential cuts, including two additions in the ongoing cycle (I almost wrote 'psychle..!) of self-titled melodies: "Goatchild" and "Goatslaves", like the earlier entries ("Goathead", "Goatlord" et al) almost minimalist in their unpolished pursuit of the almighty groove.

The album isn't beyond criticism. Several cuts (the totemic plod of "Words", for example) are little more than filler. And the self-conscious (male) backing vocals in "Goatchild" undermine the orgiastic intensity of the band's usual distaff singers: a pair of brightly painted dryads in ceremonial headdress. The album also sounds like it was rushed into production in order to maintain a steady career momentum, employing little studio wizardry beyond a cosmic surplus of studio reverb.

If true, the silver lining was an undiminished plateau of musical energy, and a thrilling spontaneity to the performances, best heard in the boilerplate Middle Eastern chords of "Hide From the Sun", and in the raw Krautrock trance of "Bondye" (aka Bon Dieu: the benevolent creator god of Haitian Voudo). By then the adrenalin rush is well-advanced, and when the twin priestesses begin shouting the mantra "into the fire!" at the ecstatic climax of "Ancient Tribes" you too might be tempted to shed your inhibitions, your clothing, and what's left of your earthly sanity to be reborn in the communal flames.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |

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