Goat are a Swedish band from a remote town in a remote province that has a population density of like 1 per 2km squared, which roughly translates to NO ONE. They claim the town has a history of Voodoo ever since a curse was placed on it. They claim that Goat, the band, have existed in one form or another for at least 40 years through the community. They claim they don’t make songs, they just make music, and that none of their songs are ever truly finished. They claim that, until recently they’d never played a gig before. They now play their gigs in Voodoo masks.
If they sound hopelessly pretentious and a little bit ridicuolous, that’s probably because they are. Pretty much the only thing that isn’t drowned in self-mystification is the album title: World Music. It is indeed World Music. It’s a boiling pot of East meets West by way of indie rock, some slightly silly and over-wrought mystical proverbs, and chanting. It works sometimes, other times not so much. Much like all their mystical stuff and all that masks business, the music always ends up ultimately just being kinda fun, and you have to give them credit for that.
It’s at its funnest when it doesn’t just drop a slightly Eastern riff over some vaguely foreign percussion, and instead has a real go at mixing indie and world. No one’s really done that before, save maybe Talking Heads, and they’re not really indie, so it makes for an interesting, unique listen rather than just ‘Oh, that’s kind of like world music, I swear they stole that riff though’. On Let It Bleed they get it right. It’s a fairly standard, though by no means bad, indie guitar hook over interesting percussion, interspersed with sax solos that drift between East and West sensibilities, and sometimes chanted, sometimes shouted vocals that you can’t really place on the musical map. It’s also too short to get carried away by their ridiculousness. It’s just a good, solid song. Even if ‘songs’ weren’t what they were going for, it’s this one’s redeeming feature.
They’re certainly a fun and interesting listen, and the rest of the album is pretty good, but it is awfully unoriginal at times. Still, they’ve got an interesting direction to bleed out of it. See what I did there? It’s humour, I think.
Also, I have no idea why so much of that video is destroyed buildings and stuff, it doesn’t fit at all. Unless that’s their idea of the ‘World’, which might be kinda racist, or else just really depressing.