20 November 2014

Goat - Commune

I cannot believe that it has been almost a year since I review the first album from Goat 'World Music' (cleverly linked here); it was a brilliant album which got the full 10 out of 10.  Its mixture of Afrobeat and 60's experimental rock was a joy to hear, it was one of the more interesting albums I listened to last year.  There is something strange about a band coming from Korpilombolo in Northern Sweden and making this sort of music (however, this claim is currently being disputed; also they are now based in Gothenburg).  They have a carefree spirit about them and I was not too sure if it was going to be a one off project or if there would be another record.  They did release a live album, but now we have their second album - Commune.  Now whilst I was not lucky enough to see them on their recent UK tour, I have been looking forward to this release - will it be as jaw dropping as their first release?

With a simple chiming bell "Talk To God" is introduced with simple grace, after a minute you have a psychedelic riff and drums starting forming a hypnotic loop that has bring together the full band and you are give a acid rock beat that keeps going round and round for what feels like an eternity, but it is a lifetime that you could gladly get lost in.  There is not much in the way of change from 'World Music' at this point, but it is definitely an interesting song.  "Words" starts with pounding drums, a strange guitar effect that is straight out of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" and a brilliant solo that runs thorough the best part of the song.  The strange guitar tone does not quite work for me, but overall the song is really good and the quiet outro of the song feels a little spooky after the song.  Third track "The Light Within" is a tune that has more psychedelic riffs going on, but for me it is all about the drumming and bass in this number.  The guitars are played incredibly well, but the bass is all powerful and fills the every part of this song.  The vocals are kept to a minimum on this song, which is just as well as they seem to be almost screeching; as if the lady is going to strain her throat screaming.

Up next is "To Travel The Path Unknown", it has spiritual spoken word opening and then it goes into an incredibly laid back.  Minimal percussion, strange guitar tones and you have one of the best tracks of the album as it feels more relax and natural.  It feels as if it was written with the listener in the room, it is a great track on this album.  Fifth track "Goatchild" has a similar feel to the Brian Jonestown Massacre release from earlier in the year; it is retro to the point of possibly been wrote out of time and forwarded to now.  The interplay between the male and female vocalists is very interesting and mixes well with the wah-wah guitar and 60's styling music going on in the background.  Once again, this band really knows how to lay down a classic solo and the song works incredibly well.  Next is "Goatslaves" and it is another track with a spaced out spoken word intro, this is followed by a more manic number from Goat.  I have to say at this point, the female vocals are starting to wear thin when they are being played as there is no change to the tone, no subtlety to the delivery and you can hear that there is a voice that could make the number even more special.  That said, the experimental rock on this number is really good; shame the vocals spoil it.

"Hide From The Sun" sounds like a psychedelic freak out, which has sections of the band working in a trip out harmony.  This is a song that brings the energy and vibes that came from the first album back to the forefront; with more energy that most of the Madchester scene of the early 90's, this track is worth repeating many times over. The penultimate track in "Bondye" which bring a sense of the desert to proceedings, with a sound like Tinariwen if they listened to more 60's psychedelic than blues you have a jam that just seems to keep gaining speed until it ends with a sudden stop.  Much like "Hide From The Sun", it has a lot in common with 'World Music'; but not with a feeling of being a carbon copy.  It feels new and exciting, definitely a highlight of the album.  "Gathering Of Ancient Tribes" is the final track of the album, it almost pulls of a perfect ending for the album; you may have noticed the words almost.  It is the female vocals screeching once again that stop this from being an awesome song.  On the first album it was in harmony with the music, but here is does sound like it backs.  The drone ending though it really inspired to me, sadly it is a little short for my tastes as the song fades back to the opening bells from the beginning of this record.

As a follow up album go, this is not a good as the first record; the female vocalist does not seem as fluid as the rest of the band this time around, it really does distract from the rest of the performance in the same way that nails down a chalkboard sends shivers down your spine.  As such, this album is not as good as the first one.  However, the music is still impressive and I think with another vocalist added to the mix who did not sound as if her voice was about to break into many shards then this would have been a brilliant album.  It is really good, but not as impressive as their debut album.  

7 out of ten - This is good and worth checking out

You can purchase the album from Amazon here

You can purchase the album from the Bandcamp Rocket Records (Goat's label) here 

You can visit the Goat BlogSpot here

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

For our Deezer users, here is a link for you

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