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Goat – Requiem

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Goat - RequiemSometimes you want music you can just joyfully wig out to. For exactly these moments there is Goat, for which I am very grateful.

Goat have an unselfconscious and unflinching commitment to their music. It’s a celebration. A testament to emotionally transformational power of music, but thankfully without any underlying philosophy other than manifestly really enjoying what they do. Their euphoric delivery, which comes across in recorded format as well as their live performances, is disarmingly engaging. Its not particularly clever, but who cares? It’s so much fun to listen to.

Goat explicitly acknowledge their influences without being reduced to pastiche. At different moments you will hear echoes of Santana, Hawkwind, the Ozrics or even the Bhundu Boys. While you might well have records by these bands, there is something undeniably fresh about Goat’s sound and in particular their performance, which has the ability to transport you from the mundane and elevate your soul through sheer enthusiasm.

Requiem is their third album, which is more folk-oriented and a bit less psychedelic than previous releases. The collective have responded to the call to arms (or rather the call to obscure percussion instruments) that was their second album Commune and has now chilled out round the camp fire in the woods. There is a definite back to nature vibe to Requiem, which is clear from the field recording intro to the opening track “Union of Sun and Moon” for which flutes, mandolins and gentler rhythm guitar are more fitting. While it is more acoustic than previous releases, there is enough rough around the edges to satisfy fans of first two albums. The amps have been turned down, but there is still some dissonance — there is nothing bland in their more unplugged approach. On later tracks on the album, such as “Goat Fuzz”, they revert to type and revisit their more psychedelic roots.

This record is not a revelation. It is not particularly avant garde; but that’s not always what you need. Requiem continues Goat’s global journey through the fringes of musical culture, borrowing, co-opting and mutating what they find as they go. Requiem is a great wobbly transcendental totem of pop.Throw off your shackles and dance!

-Jim Bennett-

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