REVIEW

ALBUM REVIEW: Goat Girl - On All Fours

COLOURFUL: Goat Girl are, from left, Holly Mullineaux, Ellie Rose Davis, Lottie Pendlebury and Rosy Jones. Picture: Holly Whitaker
COLOURFUL: Goat Girl are, from left, Holly Mullineaux, Ellie Rose Davis, Lottie Pendlebury and Rosy Jones. Picture: Holly Whitaker

IT'S fitting that the day after Britain voted to leave the European Union in 2016 iconic indie label Rough Trade Records signed South London band Goat Girl.

Two years later the all-female indie four-piece released their self-titled debut album, which raged against the subsequent political and social divide created by Brexit. There was no better example than Burn The Stake where frontwoman and songwriter Lottie Pendlebury sang, "Build a bonfire, build a bonfire/ Put the Tories on the top/ Put the DUP in the middle/ And we'll burn the f--king lot."

Three years on, plenty has happened in the world of Goat Girl. They've had a line-up change and guitarist and occasional vocalist Ella Rose Davies overcame Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Throughout it all Goat Girl have managed to grow exponentially on their impressive second album On All Fours.

ECCLECTIC: On All Fours is the second album from South London band Goat Girl.

ECCLECTIC: On All Fours is the second album from South London band Goat Girl.

Whereas their debut focused on post-punk instrumentation and British targets for their anger, On All Fours expands their sonic palette to more psych and synth sounds and lyrically it focuses on global concerns like climate change (Badibaba), and more personal problems such as mental health (Anxiety Feels).

This has undoubtedly been assisted by Pendlebury loosening creative control and all members contributing to the songs. Goat Girl also experimented by switching instruments during the writing stage.

The kooky P.T.S. Tea is influenced by Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd and Sleater-Kinney and Sad Cowboy is a strange mix of '80s synth pop and spaghetti western.

Lyrically, Goat Girl are more cryptic than the bluntness seen of Burn The Stake. On the opener Pest, Pendlebury sings of the hypocrisy of western civilisation: "The pest from the west that drums on his chest and sucks from the tee tee/ You're one of those pests."

Goat Girl - Sad Cowboy

A lot of the time Goat Girl steer towards the off-beat, but there are moments of genuine melodic beauty. Particularly on Anxiety Feels, which could have been a Dido hit single 20 years ago.

Goat Girl are one of indie's most unique and interesting bands, and On All Fours is clear confirmation.

4 stars

This story Goat Girl lock horns with expanded sound and focus first appeared on Newcastle Herald.