Sunday, 9 October 2016

Goat - Requiem, album review

Soft Goat

Swedish ‘secret’ band Goat here produce their folk album, and opener Djôrôlen Union of Sun and Moon does present a pastoral of sorts with unaccompanied vocal and then an off-kilter singing with recorders to follow. And again following, second I Sing in Silence is an African-influenced song with a lightly spiralling guitar and a somewhat dour flute, these two starts soft and gentle, so it’s third Temple Rhythms that introduces some pace with drums and more flute, but yet again it is, for Goat, whitewash rather than bold 60s psychedelic wallpaper.

Fourth Alarms presents more of a band ensemble, richer 60s psychesinging in its more choric construction, the acoustic guitar keeping it folkrooted until the lovely fuzzed guitar closes it out. And the mishmash continues, those African rhythms, percussive and vocal, dancing in and out, guitar-as-steel-drum in Trouble in the Streets.

With Psychedelic Lover we get a simple pop song with simple guitar chords, but there is a sweetness to its simplicity, and the call to prayers that starts and the muffled chant beneath the female vocal widens its musical geography again. Goatband is an instrumental that builds on layers of sound but never erupts like so much of their album World Music reviewed here, though the saxophone does inject some raucous backdrop over the strummed guitar rhythms and rolling percussion. Even Goatfuzz belies its suggestiveness a little – there is some fuzz in its riff – but the slide-whistle softens, so to speak, and the song does merge into an Eastern sound. 

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