Published Dec 11, 2019Any band that name themselves after a Melvins song immediately deserve extra credit, but that it's after one of the Melvins' greatest songs bestows the highest praise upon Canton, OH's Night Goat. Founded by alt-country act the Most Beautiful Losers' guitarist Chris Bentley and fronted by his wife Julia, Night Goat spew head-down sludge as if Wool and Helmet played Grief sped up at 45 rpm on their first full-length, Milk.
Early '90s Amphetamine Reptile/Touch and Go noise is the keystone here. The formidable rhythm section of bassist Dalin Jones and drummer Donnie Casey lay down an impenetrable foundation for Bentley's six-string incisions and Julia's deranged caterwauls. Eyehategod-esque feedback drenches the intro to album opener "Smearcase on Shorb," before the song detonates with savage chords and battering-ram drums.
Julia shreds her vocal cords on the completely unhinged "Dirty Candy" — then annihilates them anew on "Malachai" — resembling a distorted version of Piss Factory's Lizzie Avondet or Fluffer's Laura Galpin. The mighty Melvins are clearly the forethought for "Gnarltooth Grim," and "My Axe (Your Ribcage)" could be a primitive Harvey Milk track. "Chubby Leech" shares shelf space with early Fudge Tunnel, while Julia's revved-up delivery in "Jerusalem's Lot" edges out David Yow in the batshit vocal sweeps.
Their 2017 debut Tria EP only hinted at the aural devastation that the more calculated and mature Milk nails down from the first needle drop. Without a doubt, Night Goat are poised to invade the dank and hostile spaces left empty by Unsane, the Jesus Lizard, Buzzov*en and the metal tendencies of Nirvana. Perhaps they didn't intentionally name themselves after that Melvins song, but the claustrophobic vibe is overwhelmingly fitting. (Loser Heart / Iron Vertebrae)