This quartet from Colchester, whose members offer “throat locusts, tang, dirt and pedals”, are purveyors of Garage Fuzz Rock. That’s what they tell us. As I set about listening to this 4 track live EP, what I heard reminded more of early 1970s psychedelia. Not Hawkwind or anything like that but a stodgy kind of rock with a treacly fuzzy background. I could imagine these playing with Canned Heat. After a break, we’re taken in another direction. The vocals are rough and reminiscent of Entombed. “El Patron” is hard-hitting with a bit of feedback here and there. It’s proper tough guy stuff. The vocalist’s harsh tones work with this uncompromising driving rock. I couldn’t say anything stood out though. It’s just blokes with balls really. “Lord of the Hive” then begins with more crashing percussion, defiant guitars and old-fashioned rock n roll. It’s played in a US bluesy style which rings through your ears. It ploughs on, battering us to death. Do they know they’re doing this? The vocalist screams on raucously. It’s heavy and punchy. The drums reinforce this point.
It’s a personal taste thing, but I warmed more to “Alpha Kings”. This is chugging rock n roll. It’s got good old fashioned energy but it’s a little bit punkish. There’s a dark crustiness which works nicely too. The lyrics reflect the fact this is the music of the dirty night: “3 o’clock in the morning, maybe we should hand over to the strays”. Take it away … the guitar solo is exciting. But I like the cynicism of this track, which the singer leads with his contemptuous voice and words: “What a genius … now he’s dead”.
The mood changes again for the final track “Ajuste de Cuentas / Sleep Machine”. Now it’s patient and sultry, and strong on bass. While cranking up, it maintains the bluesy feel. Punch mixes with psychedelia. Elements of it are powerful and ballsy but it lacked the edge to make me replete with enthusiasm.
It’s unfortunate that this music didn’t appeal to my personal taste. Some parts were interesting and other parts weren’t. What I did see was a range of ideas, and although “Blue” didn’t thrill me personally, I do appreciate that Goat Monsoon are good at what they do.
(7/10 Andrew Doherty)