Written by: BV on 18/09/2014 20:44:25

GOAT blew my mind with their debut album, ”World Music”, from 2012 – simple as that. Obviously that kind of initial reception leaves a massive burden on a band to eventually follow-up on said mind-blowing musical endeavors, which could also explain why so much time had to pass before “Commune”, the band’s sophomore effort, would hit the masses. Shrouded in mystery, not much is really known about the entity that is GOAT – other than the fact that their use of afro-beats, acid-rock guitars and phenomenally primitive vocals – all condensed into a highly psychedelic, danceable mayhem – sets them quite a bit apart from the vast majority of popularized neo-psychedelic acts.

It is not hard to imagine, then, that “Commune” opens with “Talk to God” - a track that leans heavily on their tribal music influences and their somewhat kraut-rock influenced approach to music. Driven by a hypnotic guitar and several different pieces of percussion, “Talk to God” immediately draws upon GOAT’s primary strength – their highly danceable songwriting. By the introduction of a particularly dominant bass-line, the swiftly played guitar parts are moved to a less dominant role of the soundscape, emphasizing groove and tribal percussion as main parts of the track whilst the vocals spread the simplistic message; ”call my name when you talk to God”.

Simplicity is a strange thing to emphasize when it comes to GOAT, as it would seem there are two counterintuitive aspects of the music; one being the highly complex, albeit delightfully repetitive musical patterns, whilst the other aspect is the primal simplicity of the vocals – often sung in unison whilst carrying highly simple lyrics if they are at all discernible. One example of a track that deviates from this formula is the relatively funky “Goatchild” which emphasizes a call and response dynamic that contrasts the male and female vocals of the band, all the while being supported by a very groovy, albeit surprisingly simple melodic pattern. “Hide From the Sun” follows a seemingly similar, somewhat simple approach in terms of rhythmical complexity. However, what it lacks in complexity the track can more than make up for with its superbly fuzzy guitars.

“Gathering of Ancient Tribes” not only concludes the album, it also stands as the ultimate highlight of “Commune” with a near-euphoric vibe, catchy guitar figures, vocals sung in unison and various intriguing percussion elements – most notably the djembe. Climaxing around the 4-minute mark with an exceptional scream which leads into a riveting guitar solo, “Gathering of Ancient Tribes” embodies everything notable about GOAT in a highly approachable format which, in spite of its 6 minutes of duration, feels like a far too short track in the grand scheme. In essence, “Commune” builds upon the musical universe introduced on “World Music” with a remarkable consistency and although GOAT have not made any remarkable changes to their sound, “Commune” is still a welcome and refreshing breath of air on the psychedelic scenes that could easily go on to become a top five on my list at the end of the year.


Download: Gathering of Ancient Tribes, Talk to God, Goatchild, To Travel the Path Unknown, Hide From the Sun
For the fans of: Agusa, Hills, Ash Ra Tempel
Listen: Facebook

Release date 23.09.2014
Sub Pop Records

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