Listening to GOAT’s new epic album Requiem one gets the feeling of coming across some strange, acid-drenched dance party in the Shire. Big-footed hobbits drinking goblets of homemade rastleberry wine as they succumb to the psilocybin-fueled hallucinations as the sounds of GOAT echo through Middle Earth. Requiem could also pass for the soundtrack to a new Wes Anderson movie at times; playful and giddy enough to coat an Anderson scene with just enough punch and chutzpah as to give the oddball protagonist some serious cool(think the bee scene in Rushmore scored by “A Quick One, While He’s Away”.) GOAT have already established themselves as expert purveyors of psych/folk rock on their first two records. But here they’ve doubled down by giving us a double album teeming with the pastoral and the acid-burnt; pop confections and spectral psych. These masked Swedish psych freaks have laid out the map to enlightenment here. We best be getting on our way.
GOAT have never shied away from getting lost in the groove on their previous efforts, 2012s World Music and 2014s Commune. Requiem proves to be no different, and that’s a very good thing. The heavy acoustic mix here grounds these songs firmly into an organic world. No space explorations or intergalactic mind melting here. All the otherworldly music is retained in nature; the wet earth, loping trees, and dew-covered valleys come to mind on tracks like “Union of Sun and Moon” “I Sing In Silence” and “Temple Rhythms”; while “Alarms” gets a little noisy with some Hendrix-style guitar freakouts. “Trouble in the Streets” is exuberantly fun and dance-y. It’s like Bjork singing along to Rusted Root in her car on the way to pick up her kids. Thing is, the same person that would stick their nose up to GOAT would also be the same person sitting in front of their computer drunk at 11:30 pm on a Saturday night playing Rusted Root’s “Send Me On My Way” on Youtube and singing along off key(just an observation.) Anyways, back to the album.
I think the most important thing to point out here is how groove and rhythm-heavy this album is. “Goatband”, is nearly 8 minutes of serious heavy groove. It sounds like the E-Street band on some serious Afro-Cuban kick. “Try My Robe” is almost funky. Heavy bass, fuzzy guitar, with an eastern flair gives this track it’s own little groovy world. “Goatfuzz” is just a massive jam. A glorious, heavy jam. “Goodbye” would seem to be a perfect note to end the album on as it feels like a proper, awe-inspiring sunset on this perfect day of an album, but “Ubuntu” is the actual album closer and it feels like waking from a dream.
GOAT has spun a massive web of musical vibes on Requiem. It’s over an hour of mystical vibes and psychedelic colors and shapes. These masked musical marauders continue to enlighten and hypnotize with their earthy brand of jangly, earthbound psych and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
7. 8 out of 10