Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 21/4
Written by: BV on 24/10/2016 16:44:57
I would absolutely be lying if I thought we’d be hearing anymore from Goat, following 2014’s ”Commune”. Not in the sense that the album didn’t warrant another studio endeavor, more in the sense that it seemed to be a thing that the band was fairly disinterested in doing, following quite a few interviews. Nonetheless, here we are with their third full-length offering (fourth if you count live albums). The album, entitled “Requiem”, is in many ways a departure from their previous endeavors at first listen, but once the album really gets under your skin, you’ll most likely realize that everything is in balance – the Goat sound is intact, however, the ways in which it can be played have increased in number.
Take album-opener “Djorolen / Union of Sun and Moon” as a prime example of this, as the massive soundscapes usually present on any given Goat track are nowhere to be found throughout the rather intimate first minute of this particular opener. Musical spaces and simplistic chanting make up the first minute or so, before the track breaks out in a largely acoustic, flute-driven theme which contains nearly all the elements we, as listeners, have come to rely on Goat to deliver. “Temple Rhythms” delivers wholeheartedly on the musical front where everything about Goat seems to invite you into a séance, a ritual or a pretty damn strange party. There’s not a single part of the album you can’t move your body to – it all depends on how you choose to do it. “Temple Rhythms” relies heavily on repetition of a simple theme, over a persistent percussion backdrop – much like popular culture has led us to believe all tribal music should sound like.
“Psychedelic Lover” once more introduces chants as being integral to setting the tone for the music before a captivating rhythm guitar begins jangling all over the track to that oh-so-persistent but all too delightful percussion. As the track slowly fades, “Goatband” is released. “Goatband” is, in large part, eight minutes of unhinged but largely tight jamming featuring a vast array of different musical instruments all given their time to shine in this piece of utter groove. There are saxophones, guitars, various percussive elements, drums, bass and a vast array of other sounds not immediately identifiable. It is on “Goatband” this release peaks in my humble opinion. It is the very essence of what makes Goat such a damn great band. How many other acts can engage in eight minutes of loose jamming over one groove without it ever growing dull? I can hardly name a handful of acts.
Where “Requiem” fails, is largely its ambition as a double-album, spread out over thirteen tracks or so. Throughout this abundance of music there are some seriously high peaks – but occasionally, one can get sucked in and then ultimately left understimulated by tracks like “Alarm” – tracks that were pretty good at first listen, yet fail to manifest themselves in the listener’s consciousness. Well, in my consciousness at least. However, this should not take away from the fact that Goat have indeed crafted another album of mostly great material. By downplaying some of the fuzzier and more amplified parts of their music, they have managed to make a stripped-down album without really lacking sounds. That in itself is highly impressive.
Download: Try My Robe, Goatband, It’s Not Me
For The Fans Of: Tinariwen, Hills, Agusa
Release date 07.10.2016
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