The solitary and barely audible chime of a single bell that opens ‘Talk to God’ may have you double checking you’ve hit play on the right record, but it’s not too long before the more familiar sound of psych-guitars and tribal drums signify the real beginning of a new Goat album. Having carved out something of a niche market for themselves somewhere between afro-beat and acid-rock with first record World Music, Goat are back and just as brilliantly weird with album number two, Commune.
To say the band hasn’t strayed very far from script in this record would be unfair, but only in that they don’t appear to have ever had one. What’s remarkable is that even so early in their career, Commune feels exactly like a Goat record should despite the daunting plethora of styles, sounds and influences squeezed into the album’s forty minute run time. The wah-soaked guitars and Morrison-like vocals of ‘Goatchild’ stuffed alongside the ensuing tribal drums and marching bass of ‘Gloat Slaves’ for instance, have no right to flow at all but like a weird trip the listener has no real choice but to hold on and ride it out.
Where Commune stumbles somewhat is its inability to leave a lasting impression. Like the alt-band that draws the walk-up crowd at a festival, it’s a captivating and at times intoxicating listen that will hold your interest for periods but ultimately leave you wanting when prompted for highlights or favourite tracks. Regardless, when you’re in the midst of one of Commune’s more blissed out, spiralling riffs – it’s difficult to not be swept wholly away.