GOAT – Oh Death: Album Review

GOAT continue their spiritual quest to transcends all realms on Oh Death; their fourth long player and first studio release in six years.

Released: 21st October 2022

Label: Rocket Recordings

Format: CD / LP / Digital

It has been just over a decade since GOAT hit the collective consciousness. Their psychedelic 60/70’s sound laced with jazz, incantations, funk, soul, harmonies and general madness has seen their star rise over the past 10 years since the Swedes released World Music.

Like many of their albums, Captain Beefheart, early Funkadelic and Jimi Hendrix loom large over Oh Death. The wild cover art helps set the tone as the slow droll of Soon You Die rolls around like anything from Funkadelic’s self titled debut. It is a glorious start to an album and a cut you might reserve to close out an album.

Chukua Pesa gives off Indian Beatles vibes meshed with Led Zep III folk stylings in its music. However, when the band start up lyrically, the proposition changes. Wild vocals atop hypnotic mandolins and guitar loops transform the piece into something unique. The oneness of the band continues on Under No Nation as the song builds to a flurry of wild horns treading their own free form path after taking a route not too far from the sounds you’d find from William Onyeabor.

Initial impressions of Do The Dance evoke the introduction to Iron Maiden’s seminal early single; Running Free. The drum beat totters along before a glam style bass line and crashing guitars help lock in the groove. ‘Looking into the burning sun…remember when the fun begun,’ is the opening line. Take this mantra and shake the shackles as you let this record consume you.

Picture: Tammy Karlsson

A short interlude comes in the form of Apegoat. This is trve psych. It is completely out there and harks back to the time Pink Floyd went grooving with the Picts on Ummagumma. Goatmilk follows with another drum led start before a seemingly hybrid organ/guitar sound shudders around more solid bass. Mysticism is once again high with the moon in the crosshairs. Then, for the real proggers (or Lizzo fans), the flute makes an appearance before the song dips into Dap Kings territory.

A seamless segue moves towards Blow The Horns. Organs wail and so do the vocals. If ever the term melting pot was to be used; this is where you’d drop it. Every element of the music seems personally possessed but the way the band bring everything together is sublime.

Remind Yourself again hits the Funkadelic influence; this time, taking inspiration from Standing On The Verge Of Getting On in the deep spoken word introduction. Words mention the dust blowing forward and back…Beefheart anyone? As everything grows, this is a percussive peach. There is so much to occupy your mind that it will take multiple listens to fully digest it. Plus, you have an absolutely blistering guitar solo to take in too.

Blessings breaks the trip with a short piano interlude before Passes Like Clouds closes out the album in truly intriguing fashion. Perhaps it isn’t the grand finale you expect from such a trip, but it is certainly one befitting of what GOAT is amazing at; take the path with the on their journey…you will not regret it.

GOAT: Bandcamp / Facebook

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