Goat – “Union of Mind and Soul” (Singles Going Steady)

As always, Goat is here to puzzle with raw screams and psychedelia.

Jared Skinner: Bucolic, hypnotic, unique, and immersive are just a few of the words to describe the Swedish folk-rock group Goat. Goat represents a long line of timeless musical tradition that exudes vitality, culture and emotion. See for example, “Union of Mind and Soul” the first song off their new album Try My Robe. The track is the glorious conglomeration of a steady drum beat, pastoral flute line, an ever strumming acoustic guitar, and a bass that moves in such a way that you’d think the strings themselves were animate. Top it off is the unknown female lead singer howling lyrics like “open your mind” to create a truly unique musical experience. [8/10]

Andrew Paschal: “OPEN YOUR MINNNND!” If you could accomplish this goal through force it seems like people would have figured it out already, but a valiant effort on Goat’s part nonetheless. The song seriously pushes the boundaries on how grating it can be before listeners just give up. The rickety recorder line that serves as a motif is a little too precious, like they’re trying to sound childlike but end up just being cloying. I mean, there’s even a kazoo involved in all this for God’s sake. There simply isn’t enough waiting for you on the other side of three minutes to make persistence worthwhile. [4/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: As always, Goat is here to puzzle with raw screams and psychedelia. On “Union of Mind and Soul”, though, Goat turns away from Hendrix and veer toward the Incredible String Band for stylistic inspiration, a choice that leads to a lot of wooden flute sounds and acoustic guitars. On their own, pan pipes have their place – they’re a good soundtrack for dancing through fields with centaurs or making a handful of daisy chains on an idyllic day – but aggressive vocals clash with such fun-loving wind instruments, and it’s jarring. The melody is too simple and followed too closely by both the singer and the flutes for the right amount of contrast to turn jarring into thought-provoking, and instead, all it sounds like is the wrong singer for the song. [5/10]

Paul Carr: There is no escape from the fact that this song starts with one of the most hideous sounds in all of music; the penny whistle. The intro is like the clawing screech of a hundred cats scraping their nails down a hundred blackboards. Things do improve slightly with the music and vocals sounding like Courtney Love fronting Fairport convention. While, it manages to be a ramshackle, folk, it never really goes anywhere with the ending coming as something of a blessed relief. [3/10]

SCORE: 5.00