In a culture obsessed with content, saturation, and continual exposure, it’s rare to find artists who prefer to lurk outside of the public eye. Thomas Pynchon is perhaps the most notable contemporary recluse—a virtually faceless figure who occasionally creeps out of hiding to offer up an elaborate novel steeped in history and warped by imagination—but for the crate digging audiophiles, guitar mystics, and third-eye visionaries, Sweden’s enigmatic rock outfit GOAT may qualify as the greatest modern pop-culture mystery. Who are these masked musicians? Are they truly members of a remote tribe in the Arctic community of Korpilombolo? Are their songs actually a part of their communal heritage, passed down through generations in their isolated homeland? Their third studio full-length, Requiem, offers more questions than answers, but much like any of Pynchon’s knotty yarns, the reward is not in the untangling but in the journey through the labyrinth.
Western exports may have dominated the consciousness of international rock fans for the entirety of the 20th century, but our increasing global awareness has unearthed a treasure trove of transcendental grooves and spellbinding riffage from exotic and remote corners of the planet. GOAT’s previous albums World Music and Commune were perfect testaments to this heightened awareness, with Silk Road psychedelia, desert blues, and Third World pop all serving as governing forces within the band’s sound. But GOAT’s strange amalgam isn’t some cheap game of cultural appropriation—it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint the exact origins of the elusive group’s sound. Whether or not the enigmatic collective truly claims Korpilombolo as their home, the fact that they pledge allegiance to a spot on the periphery of our maps—a spot so distant and off the grid that it feels fictitious—bolsters the nomadic quality of their sonic explorations. With Requiem, GOAT continue to rock and writhe to a beat beholden to no nation, no state.
GOAT’s only outright declaration for Requiem is that it is their “folk” album. For the initiated, such a proclamation seems almost unnecessary—GOAT has always vacillated between electrified exuberance and unplugged tribalist hymns. But Requiem does find GOAT focusing more on their subdued bucolic ritualism than on the psilocybin freakouts. Opening tracks “Djorolen/Union of Sun and Moon” and “I Sing in Silence” both set the stage for GOAT’s rustic approach, with the guitars laying down simple chord progressions and pan flute providing the primary hooks. From those very first notes, the piper leads us down a path where GOAT relies less on acidic guitar lines and more on sun-bleached psych-pop. “Trouble in the Streets” carries all the jubilance of classic African highlife. “Try My Robe” bares the group’s signature ceremonial hip-shaking rhythms, but eschews guitar for a mandolin line that would make John Paul Jones proud. But GOAT hasn’t completely foregone their fiery charms—tracks like “All-Seeing Eye” and “Goatfuzz” conjure the sultry heathen pulsations that ensnared us on their previous albums.
Perhaps the most puzzling aspect of Requiem comes with the closing track “Ubuntu”. The song is little more than a melodic delay-driven electric piano line, until we hear the refrain from “Diarabi”—the first song on their first album—sneak into the mix. It creates a kind of musical ouroboros—an infinite cycle of reflection and rejuvenation, death and rebirth. Much like fellow recluse Pynchon, GOAT doesn’t offer up any explanations for their strange trajectories. But like Pynchon, they have managed to create a world of their own where the line between truth and fiction is so obscured that all you can do is bask in their cryptic genius.
Tracklisting: 1. Djôrôlen / Union of Sun and Moon 2. I Sing in Silence 3. Temple Rhythms 4. Alarms 5. Trouble in the Streets 6. Psychedelic Lover 7. Goatband 8. Try My Robe 9. It's Not Me 10. All-Seeing Eye 11. Goatfuzz 12. Goodbye 13. Ubuntu
Transparent Blue Vinyl Re-press available, includes Download Card.
Allo Darlin’s eponymous debut album runs the spectrum from joyous, breezy, punky, jump-around pop with fabulous harmonies to sparse ukulele and steel guitar heartbreakers.
Singer Elizabeth Morris and bassist Bill Botting form the Australian contingent of the band, and put the band’s sunny, optimistic sound down, in part, to the 365 straight days of sunshine they would enjoy back home in Queensland.
“There’s another band from Queensland called The Go-Betweens who talked about having a ‘striped sunlight sound’,” says Elizabeth. “That’s always been a quality that I’ve been chasing in songs.”
Tracklisting: 1. Dreaming 2. The Polaroid Song 3. Silver Dollars 4. Kiss Your Lips 5. Heartbeat Chilli 6. If Loneliness Was Art 7. Woody Allen 8. Let's Go Swimming 9. My Heart Is A Drummer 10. What Will Be Will Be
Transparent Green Vinyl with single sleeve second press available now.
Exclusive t-shirt design black with white logos front and back limited to 100.
Black Moth rose from the Leeds underground scene at the end of the last decade, indulging their love for both Sabbath sulphur and Stooges squalor.
Their debut 'The Killing Jar', which was released in 2012, was hailed by many as 'one of the best debut album's you'll hear all year' - it even made it onto Kerrang's top 50 albums of the year. Now with an expanded (guitar) lineup to expand the riffage comes the follow up, 'Condemned To Hope.'
Their long awaited second album, produced like their first by Jim Sclavunos (Grinderman, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, The Cramps) takes their kaleidoscopic heaviosity and sepulchral style to a whole new plateau of riff-driven dementia. A turbulent brew with just as much 60s garage rock bite, head-spinning psychedelia and '1991-The-Year-That-Punk-Broke' grit to offer as Vinum Sabbathi riffage. 'Condemned To Hope' is where Black Moth truly render themselves a glimmering presence in the firmament of 21st century rock. A band just as comfortable sharing the Temples festival bill with the likes of Electric Wizard and Neurosis as they are alongside Nick Cave, Iggy Pop and Deborah Harry on the forthcoming Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions album 'Axels And Sockets'.
As with all NHS releases the album package will be something very special, with some very special cover art.
The one and only Roger Dean has created a brand new painting to adorn the cover of the album. Designer, architect and artist, his iconic work for Yes, Uriah Heep, Budgie, countless Vertigo sleeves and much more, has almost come to define 70’s sleeve art. It’s the Roger Dean you know and love, yet as you’ve never seen him before.
3rd Pressing on Amber / Beer coloured vinyl shipping now.
Black Moth are four super talented individuals, Harriet Bevan - vocals, Jim Swainston - guitar, Dave Vachon - bass, and Dom McCready, battering the crap out of his drums. Formed 2 years ago out of the ashes of Leeds garage rockers The Bacchae, the band were seduced by the brutal and hypnotic lure of the riff, to emerge translucent skinned and bleary eyed from their cocoon as the ferocious kick-ass heavy rock outfit that is Black Moth.
Taking a powerful chunk of influence from proto-punk acts such as Iggy and the Stooges, Motorhead and early Alice Cooper as well as a sliver of 90s grunge and stoner rock and a big dose of doom, Black Moth draw out the darker elements and combine them with the heaving riffs of heavy metal giants, Pentagram and Black Sabbath, with "hooks so sharp you could hang a corpse on them". They also look to more current acts such as the Melvins, Sleep and Electric Wizard for inspiration, though singer, Harriet Bevan, still maintains a vocal style that evokes the haunting psychedelia of Grace Slick and psych-Satanist, Jinx Dawson from Coven: the woman responsible for the "sign of the horns" in rock'n'roll.
They're also a big part of the burgeoning Leeds heavy rock scene alongside Pulled Apart By Horses, Kong, Hawk Eyes and Gentlemen's Pistols, it looks like it's about to break. Songs that the band have honed and crafted in the mighty maelstrom that is the Leeds heavy rock scene, have been rippin’ ‘em up live not only in Yorkshire but everywhere they’ve played.
Now all they needed was to be brought to vivid screaming life on record. Enter Mr Jim Sclavunos, the multi talented Grinderman and Bad Seed, not to mention the superbaaad connoisseur of the mixing console, fresh from producing the storming second Jim Jones Revue album. One of their shows was all it took.
”Black Moth reminds me of my misspent youth” he said. And judging by the all out assault that he’s crafted with the Moth, he must have been a very bad boy indeed. The Killing Jar is their debut from New Heavy Sounds and it rocks like a bastard.
Tracklisting: 1. The Articulate Dead 2. Blackbirds Fall 3. Banished But Blameless 4. Spit Out Your Teeth 5. The Plague Of Our Age 6. Chicken Shit 7. Blind Faith 8. Plastic Blaze 9. Land Of The Sky 10. Honey Lung
A continual seller ever since release in April 2006, demand for Burial’s roundly praised debut has rocketed following a swathe of superlative appraisals and high rankings in the various year-end review sections.
With the DJ in mind, optimum sonic integrity has been maintained by removing the CD version's beatless opening and closing tracks, and the remaining 11 tunes have been re-sequenced and re-cut to allow those 4 that have until now not appeared on vinyl to be presented in newly-mastered 12-inch-standard audio across the first 2 sides ('Wounder', 'U Hurt Me', 'Spaceape' and 'Prayer').
With both the 'South London Boroughs' and 'Distant Lghts' EPs now out of print and likely to remain that way, this limited edition two-wax pack offers the only way to get your Burial fix in club-ready configuration, but it won't be around for ever as the ever-elusive producer is near to completing his next opus, at which point this changes tense from present to past. Advertising to run in Observer Music Monthly from 18/03, and still very much in stock on CD right this very minute.
Tracklisting: 1. Untitled 2. Distant Lights 3. Spaceape 4. Wounder 5. Night Bus 6. Southern Comfort 7. U Hurt Me 8. Gutted 9. Forgive 10. Broken Home 11. Prayer 12. Pirates 13. Untitled