Music review: GOAT offers up enigmatic tunes on ‘Commune’
The mysterious Swedish collective known as GOAT has been steadily working and gaining more and more exposure in North America by participating at 2014’s Coachella and other mass gatherings throughout. They’ve remained such an enigma that it’s not clear as to exactly when GOAT initially began creating music, but over the last few years they’ve focused on releasing incredible music that is absolutely unique and imaginative. ‘Commune’ is the groups second full-length released domestically, and it continues down that same path and finds GOAT’s sonic experimentations elevated to new heights.
GOAT is the kind of group that isn’t afraid to venture out and explore. In their case, they journey back to a time when rock & roll was at its most experimental. With ‘Commune’, they expound on the foundation that was laid down with ‘World Music’. Their psychedelic direction stands out, though there’s also the tribal presence that helps carry the rhythms of the songs. The elements come together and generate sounds that produce feelings. Chords that are diminished and augmented, and keys in minor registers are capable of creating thoughts and eliciting images full of color and dimension. ‘Commune’ is an amazing instrumental album, though it isn’t a complete instrumental album. The vocals are present, but they exist more as a prominent instrument of sound. Distant and concave, the vocal delivery can sound urgent and haunting as they’re fighting to be heard with hollow reverb that makes them sound cold and isolated.
Like nine completely unique paintings, the songs are surreal and they come together with seamless cohesion right down the line to complete the brilliantly abstract mural that is ‘Commune’. The constants of driving repetition, swelling pulses, and cascading vibrations are entrancing, and the sound of it all put together in one piece is almost hypnotic. Rock & roll hasn’t been done like this for a very long time, and most modern bands probably could not pull this kind of music off without sounding contrived or intentionally ‘nostalgic’. For GOAT, however, it is apparent from the beginning that this is who they are, and ‘Commune’ is a worthy addition to this group’s growing catalog.