Goat Girl – On All Fours
Young quartet Goat Girl are named in homage to cult comedian/latter-day anti-capitalist prophet Bill Hicks’ horny alter ego, Goatboy. They came up in the post-punk scene, based around Brixton venue The Windmill, alongside other raging experimental auteurs like Squid, Black Midi and Fat White Family. The band signed to Rough Trade records on the day of the Brexit vote in 2016, while still in their teens, and burst onto the scene with a ferocious eponymous debut that was melodic enough to back up the hype. A support slot for The Fall in their final London show before Mark E Smith’s death established the group as a force to contend with.
Their second album On All Fours releases on the back of a tumultuous few years: their youngest member, guitarist and vocalist Ellie Rose Davies, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the blood, midway through producing the record with Dan Carey. This may partly explain the rawness exuding from it. There’s a sense of their collective unconsciousness unspooling in the music, and a lack of fucks given in the lyrics. Opener Pest declaims, “I have no shame when I say, stay the fuck away.”
The tunes are low-key and meandering, written collaboratively and using analogue drum machines and off-kilter chord progressions. Track titles such as Closing In, Anxiety Feels and They Bite on You convey a general sense of unease. There’s an elastic yet grave feel to the sound. Album highlight Sad Cowboy uses Bladerunner-style synths to create an expansive melancholy. Also notable is The Crack, where lead singer Lottie Pendlebury uses her understated intensity to best effect. The video is heady with Wickerman imagery.
PTSTea describes a horrific incident where a stranger burnt drummer Rosy Jones (who is gender non-binary) with hot tea, only to walk away without looking back or apologising. The music feels like a reaction to a sometimes senseless, even hateful world around them.
This is a band maturing rapidly. With lockdown giving them more time to immerse wholly in the creative process, they are presenting not only music, but a cohesive vision for their album artwork, promo and overall aesthetic as well. Rough Trade is offering the record on limited-edition vinyl in vicious pink, and their temporary tattoos and logo sticker have already sold out on the site. On All Fours is the sound of an exciting band finding their cloven hooves.
is released on 29th January 2021. For further information or to order the album visit Goat Girl’s website here.
Watch the video for the single The Crack here: