Goat - Requiem
The story of GOAT is a convoluted and reclusive one. With press releases stating they originally hail from the remote Arctic community of Korpilombolo (claimed to be steeped in a history of voodoo worship), they have been playing as GOAT in one form or another for over 30 years performing the music of their culture passed from generation to generation, not to mention their penchant for playing live in full masks and robes to obscure themselves, picking out fact from fiction is an act of endurance. The facts: the Gothenburg based psych rockers have released their third album proper, Requiem, claimed to be their “folk” album, and while it's true the fuzz guitar has been toned down since 2014’s 'Commune', thankfully it hasn’t disappeared completely.
GOAT are a band unafraid to draw upon a rich variety of music from: prog psychedelia, traditional European folk music, and Afrobeat; Requiem is no different in this respect, but – in contrast to the album title – is a little brighter and softer around the edges than previous efforts. Highlights include the Mali sounding music of 'I Sing in Silence' and 'Trouble in The Streets', the pan-flute folk of album opener 'Djorolen/Union of Sun and Moon' (that one can imagine the villagers of Summerisle linking arms to sing), the Mandolin/Bollywood collision of 'Try My Robe', the dirty fuzz Led Zeppelin rock of 'Goatfuzz', and the dreamy Lemon Jelly rhythm of 'Goodbye'.
With GOAT bringing so many different cultural and musical influences to the table, it's easy to label their work as cultural appropriation, after all – despite their colourful press statements – they're very much a European rooted band. What GOAT manage to do however, is deftly blend these styles in such a way to create something immediately engaging and unique. GOAT as a band are citizens of the world, without borders or constraint, bringing us together through the unifying power of music. Requiem is the next step in their manifesto: intriguing, layered, and pretty bloody good.