1883 Magazine
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Anyone whose ears received the good nourishment from their debut World Music will have greeted the news of a new Goat record with the kind of excitement a disciple feels waiting for a holy man to emerge from a cave after a year’s silent meditation; new mysterious wisdom to be bestowed, new possibilities manifest, and a big old sexy hipster nest adorning his chiseled chin. But as with most second records, there was always the chance the holy man would start to show cracks, revealing himself a charlatan who made a thousand euros swindling the pension pennies of sweet old ladies in a neighbouring province. Lucky for us, Goat are for real. Auricular expressions of the great unknown. Northern Swedish voodoo angels.  

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This is Commune.

The strange and mystical allure of Goat is something that transcends taste or sensibility. It is a conjuring of an ancient memory, a casting back to a point in time where, around roaring fires we danced wild and nudie in rites of passage & rituals of divination, our weird flailing dangly bits slapping on each other as we went without any blushing or bother, and the shaman was the man with the plan.

Nowhere is this more evident than on Hide From the Sun, the first track to be released from Commune. An anarchic take on Boubacar Traoré style riff surfing middle-eastern scales, frenzied and frankly perfect. You might find yourself drop kicking your boss if the track doesn’t finish before you get to the office. 

Opening piece Talk to God begins with the gong of a tibetan singing bowl, offering an immediate expansion on the spiritual and esoteric persuasion of this band, though the collection of track names on Commune does that pretty well too. Making the notion of a drum circle acceptable, the first fevered, trance-inducing bongos accompany a riff that surely requires many more fingers than a normal human hand possesses. And then at last, that familiar  electric, Maenad-like wailing of words “Call my name, when you talk to God!” blowing your soul to stupor. It seems Goat are intent on self-deification, and all the while they are composing records like this, they will not be stopped. If you’ve ever seen a Goat live show, you will know the you were none too far from throwing yourselves down and prostrating at the front of the stage chanting, “We are not worthy!”. 

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The Light Within is an afrobeat screamer of intertwining grooves, a marriage of sweetly plucked acoustic and heady wah wah licks. On Goatchild a voice reminiscent of Mark E. Smith joins the usually female only vocals over more filthy wah strut, some ramped up Tamikrest style desert blues funk. Unlike The Fat White Family who actually are Mark E. Smith, Goat are more incantations than vitriol, proponents of a spiritual revolution rather than the houses of parliament sizzling in raging flames. Though Goatslaves briefly acknowledges that both revolts may be necessary and desirable, “…too many people live on their knees”. The band even pick up their first synthesizer on Words to novel and interesting effect.

The only occasion on which one can pause for breath on Commune is To Travel The Path Unknown. “There is only one true meaning of life, and that is to be a positive force in the constant creation of evolution…” are the true and first words announced on this track, oddly flowing in to a kind of spooky detective movie score instrumental. In fact, most of Commune has something of an epic film score about it, stirring and theatrical as it is, Goat’s aesthetic and psychedelic parade of a live a show feel totally necessary for noise such as this.

Penultimate offering Bondeye is a homage to Thai “musical congregation” Khun Narin Phin Sing, a hallucinatory symbol led march, swirling in to your ears bones from a rip in the space-time continuum, those extra magic fingers being put to sweet use once more. If you’re not delirious and naked after 2:42, there is no hope.

This is liberation music friends, an all encompassing antidote to inhibition, spiritual and otherwise. Create a hairy commune, and heed the call of for that ecstatic ancient memory to be relived! Sounds like a laugh I reckon. Otherwise, just throw on some tripped out gowns and go lose your minds… 

All hail Goat!

TRACKLIST

1. Talk to God
2. Words
3. The Light Within
4. To Travel the Path Unknown
5. Goatchild
6. Goatslaves
7. Hide from the Sun
8. Bondye
9. Gathering of Ancient Tribes

Words by Samuel Smith

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