“Goat Girl are the whip – smart, politicized young Londoners breaking into the big time” DIY
Goat Girl head up an emerging set of groups from South London who have been inspired by the burgeoning local scene there. A classic sketch by the late great comedian Bill Hicks inspired their band name.
Their self-titled debut album landed this year. Of the album, The Quietus says:
“These are tales of the city told by four friends, and some of their friends (including a monologue from a mate, and contributions from a violin player they met in a pub shortly before they started recording). Some of the stories are clear (‘The Man’, ‘Creep On The Train’, ‘Burn The Stake’ with its vehement anti-Tory lyrics), others are semi-opaque (‘Viper Fish’ is, I think, about urban pollution and feeling overwhelmed by day-to-day living), most of them are deliciously difficult to parse (including that monologue, on ‘A Swamp Dogs Tale’). The 19 tracks include five interludes, mostly improvised in the basement of producer Dan Carey, which add to the feeling that this is a rogues’ gallery, a flickering zoetrope, a visceral no-context tour of New Cross, Brixton, Lewisham, and the various haunts of this band over recent years. The record plays through, almost without gaps, one song blurring into another like a suite or a soundtrack, or like a load of shitfaced nights out.
‘Creep On The Train’ adapts strands of Butthole Surfers’ ‘Creep In The Cellar’ (well, the title and the unsettling violin) and weaves them into a tale of being filmed and intimidated on TFL. The indolence of Lottie’s voice works especially well as she sings: “Creep on the train / I really want to smash your head in / Smash your head right in.” The revenge-fantasy payoff utterly changes the energy of the song, for the better; the violin starts to feel like part of a smash-the-sleazeballs barndance, and it is very cheering. The influence of Country Teasers is explicit too, not least in ‘Country Sleaze’, and through the kinship with fellow Country Teasers fans Fat White Family – Goat Girl and FWF share venues, mates, producers, and a fair few influences and opinions.
Goat Girl build a whole cohesive world on this album, though, a grubby diorama; it’s someone telling you about their life, kindly, honestly, and not giving you any background because you’ve been friends for years. ‘Viper Fish’ has a hum underneath it, like you’re living too close to a pylon, a stinking-lovely guitar riff, and a lyrical refrain that’s almost like a lullaby: “Don’t shed a tear / We all feel fear / We all feel pain.” It’s perhaps the richest single song on the album, not the best, necessarily, but the one that has the most layers, the most ideas, the one that gives the widest landscape. ‘Cracker Drool’ is maybe the danciest, most moshpit-happy moment (although there are plenty).”