Goat Girl Goat Girl (Rough Trade) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, November 28th, 2020  

Goat Girl

Goat Girl

Rough Trade

May 02, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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Goat Girl, who take their name from comedian Bill Hicks' Goat Boy alter-ego, are the latest band from South London's indie rock scene (which includes alumni Fat White Family and Shame) to attempt a jump to the mainstream. They are one of many bands who have been tipped to revive the UK's long-dormant indie community. Their debut album is at once challenging and concise, finding a satisfying middle ground between bitterness and sweetness with a mix of gothic punk and confrontational politics. It's an album that attempts to expose the ugly underbelly of the city, both through the personal and the political.

They waste no time getting to the controversy with their second track "Burn the Stake," by singing that the UK's major right-wing parties should be put onto a bonfire with a dispassionate lilt that sounds like an old nursery rhyme. The following track uses a similar trick by pairing a real-life story of sexual harassment with a rootsy folk rock instrumental. Other tracks across the album follow in a similar fashion, taking advantage of the juxtaposition between the vintage style of the band's music and the contemporary concerns of their lyrics. A fair criticism of the record would be that it doesn't shake up this routine enough across its 19 tracks, leading to a slight lack of variety.

Nevertheless, if Goat Girl are not the most flexible band, they are an original one at least. For a debut, this is a strikingly well-realized collection of songs with a clear sense of purpose and identity. Goat Girl borrow some of their style from their predecessors, little bits of Sonic Youth and Siouxsie Sioux creep into many of these songs, but there is no doubt that this sound is their own. Even when they cover Bugsy Malone on album closer "Tomorrow," they are able to make it sound like a song that could only have been written for them.

Goat Girl is an impressive debut that shows a band with great promise. On album highlights "Cracker Drool" and "The Man," they've released some of most exhilarating UK indie-rock in years and throughout this album, they are a band with a clear voice. It's a refreshing break from a generation of UK bands who have been obsessed with replicating the success of The Libertines and Arctic Monkeys. But sometimes, Goat Girl can drag slightly with songs that play-out as lesser versions of their best singles. If they can expand their range and hone their songwriting, they have the potential to be one of the UK's best bands. (www.goatgirl.co.uk)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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