Review: Goat Girl – On All Fours

Giant Sequoia trees can live for more than 3,000 years, their gnarled bodies reaching nearly 300 feet towards the high heavens and their core, the twisted grounding planted firmly in the soiled nature of our human sins is rapidly proving an inefficient tool against the root cause of our ecological crisis.  

In the three years between Goat Girl’s self-titled debut and their sophomore release ‘On All Fours (via Rough Trade Records), our planet has taken quite the beating. 2018 was the fourth warmest year on record and the ‘Spix Macaw’, as of 2019, is no more. Our lord and saviour David Attenborough is a timeless figure on a Redbubble T-shirt and the dying elephant in the room suggests that 2020 was quite a travelling circus act.

Carrying the weight of our fuck-up’s on their bladed conscience, Goat Girl could be anything they wanted to be and yet they actively strive to metamorphosis alternative-Atlas and ‘On All Fours’, seeks to orbit at the euphonic tip of social and environmental injustices. We are all but stuff our reality is built upon when the dream remains a timeless gimmick, and our universe, a blazingly burdensome torch in the Olympic race to a somewhat all too near finish line. 

There’s a place we all go to in the dead of existentialism. Be it à la tête or the depths of a Speedy Wunderground, as earth’s inhabitants make their way to a spiritual common-ground, where the headspace is prog and the manifesto’s penned by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, one voice gravitates above the luminaries themselves. ‘The Crack’, demands devout attention, filtering through the crop circles of time and cataclysmic chorus whilst it’s spiritual counterpart ‘Sad Cowboy’, is an instrumentally shifty wrangler who howls from the dark side of the cowbell until its people have nothing but “moonlight gleams”, and waxy gibberish to offer in solace.

Not everything’s as it initially alludes and change is always imminent. If ‘The Crack’ is a call to rebuild our cosmos, then ‘Pest’ is an expansive creation to be reckoned with. ‘Dropping Bombs on the Sun’ and truly embracing the elemental unity in being a band of unwavering strength, Lottie Cream, Rosy Bones, Holly Hole and L.E.D. build an entire creative-system, from the nerve upwards; mixing elements of confrontational pointer with subliminally bended perception- as though finger-painting on our souls with streaks of invisible ink; marking their imprint in time with uniquely identifiable artistry.

As the consequences of our actions fall heavier, the mainstream indents our underground courage for such is the way of a life seeped in pesticidal people. It takes an awful lot of thought to remain headstrong in this day and age and even more pluck to break societal norms- that’s where ‘Jazz (In The Supermarket)’ kicks in. A siren-esque wakeup call to the lonely dancefloor, it swirls with endlessly liquid gusto like a Loie Fuller ‘Serpentine’ routine only with added elation and a crap-ton of synth.  

There’s only so many times you can tape dried flowers to a wall before the good-nature starts to crumble and the anecdote loses its hold. Goat Girl are for better or to all avail, a much-needed marker of blossoming decorum; and that’s where the mind meets the metaphor best of all. Perhaps ‘On All Fours’ is less a body of work and rather an anatomic reminder to face up to it all. Maybe if every once in a while we took two steps back and lifted our heads out of the ground, we might eventually get somewhere. 

“Remember that there’s always another way of seeing things: that’s the beginning of wisdom” says John Barth of ‘Giles Goat-Boy’. Lest we forget that where there’s a will, there’s too a Goat Girl.

‘On All Fours’ is out now via Rough Trade Records. Get your copy here. We spoke to the band about their new album in Issue Twenty-Eight of So Young which you can find here.

The new issue of So Young is out now. Its sold out in print but you can read the digital edition below.