Published Apr 06, 2018Goat Girl's self-titled debut album is, to say the least, for a very specific kind of listener. At 19 tracks but only 40 minutes, the London, UK-based, all-female rock group have created an album that is working toward the establishment of a brand: one that is based on challenging the listening threshold.
Putting 19 tracks on an album is a route that some higher-profile artists take after establishing a large fan base. For a debut, it's asking a lot, but the longest track on Goat Girl is just over three minutes. From start to finish, the album is a mix of complete swamp-rock songs, only to be broken up by confusing, short bursts of instrumentation.
Opening track, "Salty Sounds," is about a minute of sinister jazzy piano, something you'd hear on the score of an independent horror film. It's a bizarre choicer for an opener, especially when the second track, "Burn the Stake," is a strong one. "Burn the Stake" showcases lead singer Lottie's capability to lead a band and follows a climactic song structure that would have worked really well as an opener.
The most notable song on the album is "Viper Fish," perhaps because of its similarity to Dick Dale and His Del-Tones' "Misirlou," as made popular by 1994 Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction. "Viper Fish" is when Goat Girl begin to define an identity. Alongside other similar songs, such as "Cracker Drool" and "Slowly Reclines," Goat Girl paint a picture of the seedy underbelly of urbanism, all the while staying consistent with a surf-rock sound. That's what their debut album should have focused on. It's the quick interuptions of confusion, such as "A Swamp Dogs Tale," a minute-and-a-half long spoken-word track that ventures into grime territory, that this album could do without. (Rough Trade)