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Goat - Live Ballroom Ritual CD (album) cover

LIVE BALLROOM RITUAL

Goat

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.59 | 4 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
4 stars As exciting as the debut Goat album was ("World Music", 2012), it gave little indication of the spectacle the band presents on stage. Music aside, the sartorial splendor of their concert attire alone is something to behold, resembling an explosion in a counterculture fabric and costume factory. The colorful masks and robes might only be a canny (I almost wrote 'corny') promotional gimmick. But they work to focus attention on the ensemble playing and foster a symbiotic alliance with the audience.

The real enigma behind the masquerade is the actual size of the tribe itself. The flimsy cardboard CD case (perhaps designed in homage to the cut-and-paste artwork of Klaus Dinger) shows two guitarists; a bass player; one drummer plus a separate conga player; and a pair of sultry odalisques from the perfumed harem of a Middle Eastern sultan. So who's playing the saxophone, in the song "Let It Bleed"? The instrument appears out of nowhere, interrupting another monster funkadelic jam with a sudden frenzy of Free Jazz noise, while the twin nymphs shout the song's title like a life-or-death incantation, until their voices are hoarse. A quintessential Goat moment, in other words...

This is a group with something for (almost) everyone. Krautrockers will feel at home with the power chords of the concert opener "Diarabi" (originally a sub-Saharan folk melody), and the imposing one-chord monolith named "Det Som Aldrig Forandas...etc." Party animals will appreciate the uninhibited revelry of "Golden Door" and "Disco Fever". Connoisseurs of heavy-duty Funk Rock will thrill to the elemental grooves of "Let It Bleed" and "Run to Your Mama". And rebellious star-children born under the sign of Capricorn will embrace the songs "Goathead", Goatman", "Goatlord", and "Stonegoat".

More than just a live album, the disc is also an omnibus collection of everything the band had recorded to date: the entire "World Music" album; plus non-album singles and B-sides, including the mini-epic Space Rock mantra "The Sun The Moon", their first recorded song and a killer encore to an already lethally attractive show. And the performances don't simply regurgitate the studio material: most of the songs have been extended for maximum visceral impact, an important consideration with two barefoot pagan goddesses gyrating and jumping all over the stage.

It would be wrong to say the album is the next best thing to being there. In concert Goat is more alive than most live bands, and without the visual cues this companion album is only a two- dimensional facsimile of a typically eye-catching, toe-tapping, mind-frying Goat gig. But it still manages to capture the psychedelic Mardi Gras spirit of the event: not a concert but "a harvesting of souls", in the band's own mock-portentous vernacular. So until the herd arrives in your hometown the old cliché will have to stand: the album is the next best thing to being there.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |

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