goat

The arrival of Goat was projected with so much mystery – be it conceived genuine or manufactured – that regardless of the group’s end output, the whole concept was already sold on a lot of people. Couple this emergence with an exploding psych resurgence and you had a perfect storm of happenstance, luck and a bunch of masked, supposed voodoo practicing, knife-wielding folk from rural Sweden, ready to hack you open a new third eye. However, Goat quickly overcame any accused gimmickry thrown at them, as they delivered musically.

Their debut album was not only exciting and bustling with life but as anyone who has seen them perform will testify, they are also one of the most exciting, engaging and engulfing live bands of recent years – an experience as visual and physical in its execution as it is sonically crushing. It does, however, set ‘Commune’ up with a hellishly tricky task in needing to be a record that can both match up with the interest and intrigue their out-of-the-blue debut created, and also attempt to capture the spirit and intensity they have grown into as a live band and musical collective. Thankfully, they don’t seem too concerned with such pressures and have instead created a follow-up record that oozes with confident, natural progression and succeeds in being both a continuation and evolution of ‘World Music’.

They still know how to hammer the shit out of a wah-wah pedal successfully and are still wonderfully adept and in-tune with creating songs that can float breezily and dreamily as frequently as they can summon the powers that be with intensity and ferocity.

The otherworldly female-led vocal chants still define and drive much of the wobbly guts of their output, but other vocal aspects have risen to the surface too, such as on ‘Goatchild’, where they sound like they have raised Jim Morrison from the dead for one last outing. Trippy spoken-word vocal introductions on ‘Goatslaves’ (which quotes Native American wisdom) and ‘To Travel the Path Unknown’ further cement the fairly well-rooted influence of Funkadelic (specifically the ‘Maggot Brain’ LP) but it also seems their intent to further drive home the genuine spirituality of this music being expelled.

Like their debut, this album spans the globe, rooted in American music as firmly as it is African, thus entering into ‘Commune’ as an album is just that – it is to enter into something; it is a space – a world – in which to inhabit; a place in which rituals, meditations and trances are to be reached, consumed and absorbed.

Goat would have you believe that this is a spiritual awakening, an inside peak into tribal practices and unique ancient rituals – and some of this may well be true – but that would risk overlooking the hypnotic yet intuitive force of the music on display here.

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