Goat Girl On All Fours Rough Trade
Being earmarked as a political band comes with the burden of expectation. If you’re not very loudly and clearly railing against something, are you doing your job right? That was the challenge facing Goat Girl when they started work on the follow-up to their swaggering self-titled debut album.
The south Londoners soon came to a realisation: to be alive is to be political. Whatever they wrote would fulfil people’s perception of them. As a result, On All Fours presents a band more confident in themselves and their message, capable of delivering it with more nuance and potency than ever before.
Instead of ticking boxes of issues to sing about, the band give themselves the space to explore original ideas. On Pest from the West, they flip the script on the “beast from the east” rhetoric, pointing out both the racist undertones to the phrase and the mighty flaws of the Western world. The sparse, soft Anxiety Feels switches focus to mental health, while Badibaba muses on our relationship with Earth (“Tainted from my imperfections/ Little things, feels like we’re an infection”).
To free up their writing, they swapped instruments and each contributed ideas (guitarist and vocalist Clottie Cream took the lead on their 2018 album). The results are adventurously brilliant, be that the unexpected techno ascent of Sad Cowboy or the new wave touches of Jazz (In the Supermarket). Put together, this is Goat Girl doing what they do best – emphasising, experimenting and expanding their musical horizons. Consider those expectations fulfilled.