Release Date: Jan 29, 2021
Record label: Rough Trade
Even for a young, buzzed-about band, the three years between Goat Girl's self-titled debut album and its follow-up On All Fours were notable. Along with more typical shake-ups like lineup changes (bassist Holy Hole stepped in for founding member Naima Jelly), the group endured guitarist/vocalist L.E.D.'s diagnosis of stage four Hodgkin's lymphoma and six-month course of chemotherapy. Happily, Goat Girl's second album reveals that they've only grown stronger together in the wake of these events.
Two years on from their scuzzy 19-track self-titled debut, London quartet Goat Girl return with On All Fours, their "difficult" second album. Truth be told it's an album that sounds anything but difficult, as the band adroitly distill all the elements that made Goat Girl such an intriguing proposition the first time around. Dan Carey's production gently finesses the band's sound without sacrificing any of their edge and the result is a more considered album.
'On All Fours' is the sound of Goat Girl stepping into their own. Produced by Dan Care, it's a little less spiky round the edges than the eponymous debut - a statement equally strident, but considered in its stances and elegant in its rage. They don't tolerate nonsense when clashing with creeps ('I have no shame when I say step the fuck away' tossed out matter-of-factly on opener 'Pest)'.
On the best song from Goat Girl's 2018 self-titled debut, the South London band fantasized about smashing in a pervert's head on a train. Yet the record mostly thrummed with the unsettling energy of a more otherworldly form of transport: the night bus, crisscrossing the capital at witching hour when normal senses, faculties, and decorum have slipped away. None of the awful creeps, shitheel politicians, or scuzzy encounters they sang about came from the realm of fantasy, but each bizarre story of the city whizzed past in a surreal blur, like warped William Hogarth street scenes glimpsed through a smeared window.
2018 was quite the year, wasn't it? The #MeToo movement swept across the globe, providing some lecherous criminals with a long-overdue reckoning; Meghan Markle became the first Person Of Colour to ever have their Royal Wedding broadcast live on the BBC; Black Panther was released to universal acclaim (and to eyepopping box office receipts); and we saw the release of debut albums from incredible artists - Shame, Snail Mail, Cardi B, Jorja Smith, Soccer Mommy and, most pertinently, Goat Girl. Seems like a lifetime ago, doesn't it? A whole lifetime ago since the album Goat Girl was played on Iggy Confidential (he's a big fan). It was, and remains, a fantastic work, and testament to the year of its release - full of vitality and energy and anger and spit and venom.