The Upshot: Scaling a fascinating line between Afropop and mystical tribalism, Goat have made an album that is as aurally dense as it is compelling and deep.
BY JONATHAN LEVITT
In a space carved out somewhere between The Sun City Girls and Savage Republic, with a smidgen of Father Yod thrown in for good measure, Goat have made an album – it follows World Music and Commune – that is as aurally dense as it is compelling and deep. Scaling a fascinating line between Afropop and mystical tribalism the songs have an anthropological in country vibe about them. “I Sing in Silence” is funky, laid back and nuanced enough to pull us further up river as we head to face Kurtz. “Temple Rhythms” chugs along with its rhythmic Peruvian pan pipe hypnotic weavings. “Alarms” is polished with a ‘60s patina, replete with two part harmonies and spangly guitar. It’s a great amalgam of psych and Summer of Love, hippy-dippy-do. “Trouble in the Streets” once again employs an infectious Afropop-styled guitar line layered above a propulsive rhythm. The song had me grooving in my seat. (Did I just say that about a Goat song?)
“Goatband” is a wonderfully infectious instrumental that you just don’t want to end, it also shows another side to this incredible group of masked marauder—think Carlos Santana mixed with Steely Dan. The tune “Goatfuzz” is Back Sun Ensemble and Sun City Girls having a “You got your chocolate stuck in my peanut butter”—type Reese’s moment. The fuzzed guitar, ethnic instrumentation, and semi chaotic nature of the song has something that satisfies that salty and sweet umami musical craving. “Goodbye” is flamenco guitar over a flanged Indian rhythm that revolves, blowing up into a steamy typhoon set to wreak havoc on Calcutta.
A powerhouse of an album, Requiem shows off an incredibly diverse array of talent from a band that continues to beguile. This is music made by mavericks working outside the jaded confines of the music business. Needing to prove nothing, Goat have created one of the most definitive musical statements of 2016.
DOWNLOAD: “Goodbye” “Goatband” “Goatfuzz” “Trouble in the Streets” “I Sing in Silence”