South London’s Goat Girl are emerging from a real hotbed of talent such as fellow trailblazers Shame. Unlike their peers, Goat Girl’s sound is harder to define. The Brixton four-piece may on the face of it be the usual composition of an indie guitar band but with deeper inspection there are traces of country, punk and goth but ‘Goat Girl’ defies direct comparisons. It’s off kilter rustic rock that at times is full of menace and just damn weird at others. Without aiming to be stylistic, they’ve managed to stand out from the pack.
Goat Girl change tone frequently, sometimes within the same song. This is displayed on the swampy violin during Creep and the shifting tones and time signatures of the lead guitar on songs such as The Man With No Heart Or Brain, Country Sleaze and Cracker Drool. The guitars screech and squall on I Don’t Care Part 1 while on Tomorrow and Slowly Reclines it’s as if they are enveloped in a hazing delta sunset.
Vocalist Clottie Cream’s languid drawl creates mystery, intrigue and danger. At times similar to that of Jim Reid of Jesus And Mary Chain, but there is also a flexibility and depth to her voice akin to PJ Harvey’s. It’s more a tonal range than technical one and if there is one song on the album encapsulates that better then the rest it’s the outstanding Burn The Stake.
Goat Girl haven’t skimped on the number of songs they’ve put on the album. Although a few aperitifs serve as extended interludes between the nineteen songs, by and large, there are very few opportunities to get twitchy with the skip button. Across 40 odd minutes, there is a lot to get through and each track never outstays its welcome.
Rather than the listener getting lost, interest is held by having a few of the more immediately likeable songs are liberally sprinkled throughout. In today’s world, where stats show stream-hungry listeners losing interest gradually after each album track, it’s great to see bands caring about the track listing for album they put out.
There is proper pacing here and repeat listens are rewarded with new nuances discovered each time. It also displays Goat Girl’s confidence in their material.
Goat Girl don’t want to be just another guitar band, pigeon-holed into one bracket and with a list of ready-made comparisons. With their outstanding debut album, they’ve made a good start to ticking off all those objectives.