Goat Girl - On All Fours Music Album Reviews

Goat Girl - On All Fours Music Album Reviews
Equipped with whirlpooling guitars and a newfound supply of silvery electronics, the South London band chronicles anxiety and ennui in songs full of spine-tingling dissonance.

On the best song from Goat Girl’s 2018 self-titled debut, the South London band fantasized about smashing in a pervert’s head on a train. Yet the record mostly thrummed with the unsettling energy of a more otherworldly form of transport: the night bus, crisscrossing the capital at witching hour when normal senses, faculties, and decorum have slipped away. None of the awful creeps, shitheel politicians, or scuzzy encounters they sang about came from the realm of fantasy, but each bizarre story of the city whizzed past in a surreal blur, like warped William Hogarth street scenes glimpsed through a smeared window.
The lurid playfulness—set to a restless soundtrack of clattering post-punk and gothic country—suited a band you’d swear lifted their stage names from an old kids’ horror comic (singer Clottie Cream, guitarist L.E.D., drummer Rosy Bones, and bassist Holly Hole, who replaced Naima Jelly in 2019). But that dark, carnivalesque exuberance is in shorter supply on On All Fours. Where its predecessor crammed 19 songs into 40 minutes, these 13 stretch out languidly. Rather than lurching between styles, they mostly stick to whirlpooling guitars and a newfound supply of silvery electronics—sometimes pulsing, sometimes throbbing, sometimes seemingly on the brink of short-circuiting. Half mellifluous and half menacing, they often chronicle the draining toll of anxiety and depression. “Please don’t leave me alone/Staring out the window,” intones L.E.D. on “Anxiety Feels,” lost and listless in its woozy, downbeat swirl.

Ennui and disillusionment pervade the LP: The spacey, shimmering “Sad Cowboy” starts as a magical moonlit tour of Clottie’s neighborhood, but ends with her realizing that the pretty sights aren’t what they seem. Often, the songs juxtapose glimmering arrangements with more discordant sounds, similar to how Stereolab contrasted murky ideas with Laetitia Sadier’s sweet vocals. “Where Do We Go?,” a takedown of a lying, venomous blowhard, chimes like a nursery rhyme before introducing a synth as shrill as a dentist’s drill. “I’m sure it stinks under his skin/Where pores secrete all the hate from within,” Clottie murmurs. “Closing In,” meanwhile, chips away at its dreamy ice-cream truck melody with nagging synths, echoing the way treacherous thoughts poison her mind like “stagnant night soil.”

That sense of dissonance is even more effective when On All Fours switches focus to bigger horrors. Although opener “Pest” rages against the climate crisis, rank Western hypocrisy, and people smugly sleepwalking toward oblivion, it eschews abrasiveness for a gorgeous, celestial score. Later, Goat Girl chrip the refrain of the breezy “Babidaba” as if absentmindedly singing while doing the dishes, ignoring the electronics that wobble like a demented fairground ride. “Feels like we’re an infection,” deadpans L.E.D. “Carry on like we’re protected/As if we’re unaffected.” It plays out like the soundtrack to a nightmarish Twilight Zone episode where reality is collapsing but everyone insists nothing’s wrong.

More pedestrian bands would likely fashion something worthy and dull from such weighty themes, but On All Fours is too off-kilter to be preachy. “The Crack,” a rumbling, clanging song about humans fleeing a pollution-ravaged Earth for space, channels the spirit of a lost Arthur C. Clarke story; “They Bite on You” turns an account of having scabies into body horror. Most startling is “P.T.S.Tea,” a blackly comic farce which details yet another public transport run-in with an entitled jerk, this time a man on a ferry who burns Rosy with a cup of boiling hot tea. “Dumb man wouldn’t even look at me,” they seethe, but their voice keeps its sing-song sweetness while manic synths blurt like a Saturday morning cartoon theme, burying anger beneath forced cheerfulness. It’s a perfect encapsulation of how On All Fours refines Goat Girl’s sound: Whatever else changes, finding strange ways to tell grim truths is still what they do best.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Goat Girl - On All Fours Music Album Reviews Goat Girl - On All Fours Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on February 05, 2021 Rating: 5


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