Goat Girl
On All Fours

(Rough Trade)


As their self-titled debut showed, Goat Girl are one of the few British acts still capable of making guitars sound genuinely thrilling, with their dispatches from the frontline of being young, in a city and slightly sad.

In-keeping with their South London peers, they’ve embraced electronics on this record, and whilst – unlike, say, PVA or Jockstrap – those sounds aren’t front and centre, they’re leading down some interesting new avenues. Take the woozy ‘(Jazz) in the Supermarket’, with its nagging daydream synth line that suggests a recent interest in Broadcast. The relatively straightforward, dancefloor-focused ‘Sad Cowboy’, a brilliant disco-not-disco dirge, is tempered by a droll delivery that intelligently refuses to quite let it become a banger. ‘Anxiety Feels’ and ‘PTS Tea’ make lyrically explicit the powerful, fuggy melancholia that permeates the record, and opener ‘Pest’ continues the well-observed gender politics that were often the engine of their debut. The more experimental points, like the off-kilter Krautrock groove of ‘Once Again’, could be teased out more, but one suspects that this is the work of future Goat Girl releases. On All Fours feels like a transitional record, but in the best sense of that term. This band’s possibilities remain wide open.