|Goat Leaf - ‘A Lack of Oxygen - Tales of Crashing Satellites’ (Sea Of Green Music)|
|Written by Johnny H (The Fake One)|
|Tuesday, 15 January 2013 03:00|
It’s second album time for the eight legged rock ‘n’ roll groove machine, that is South Yorkshire’s Goat Leaf, and immediately I’m wondering just how exactly do they follow a debut as outstanding as ‘Colourscene’? Do the guys simply do more of the same and see if the rolling stoner ball of fury they unleash gathers more people moss in the process or do they go out on a limb and go do a Diamond Head (a la 'Canterbury') on us all for the sake of mainstream appeal?
Well as the album’s lead cut ‘A Lack Of Oxygen’ blasts out from my speakers I’m pleased to say that initially it looks like Jonny Maycock (vocals), Mat Washington (percussion), David A Main (bass) and John Hodgson (guitar) collectively have enough sense to stay in the former camp. Having finally witnessed the band live back in the summer of 2012 (something that really does have to be experienced by everyone in the Überverse before they shuffle off this mortal coil) this track is the perfect introduction to a band who not so much embrace the stoner genre as reshape the whole bloody thing into something very much their own. It’s loose heavy and groovy as fuck, but most importantly it more than simply a reinterpretation of what Sabbath or Zeppelin did so well many decades before. Nah, this is more than just reinterpretation it’s musical reinvention on a grand scale.
Okay granted there may be josh stick scented wafts of bands such as Graveyard and Priestess swirling around within the fabric of tracks such as ‘Moot Point’ and ‘Wolfbag’ but when you’ve got Steve Ellis once again back behind the desk in charge of sonic manipulation and Jaime Gomez Arellano (renowned for Ghost’s ‘Opus Eponymous’)doing the mix you know this album is never in a million years going to be record full of auto tuned techno metal. In fact on first listen the organic nature of the curiously monikered ‘A Lack of Oxygen - Tales of Crashing Satellites’ is so natural and earthy that you do have to wonder if the lads like to experiment a little bit with certain substances in the pursuit of songwriting perfection, and that more than chemical enhanced Madchester vibe I had picked up on when I caught them live is never more so prevalent than during ‘The Truth Be Told’, a track that sounds like it had just been wrote for luck.
So with all these extra influences seeping into Goat Leaf’s (not so) difficult second album it is on the echo drenched blues rock work out ‘One Last Line’ where the guys do finally edge towards “doing a Diamond Head”, as the quartet gently ease themselves into previously uncharted musical territories with the minimum amount of fuss. But for those of you thinking Goat Leaf might have suddenly got aspirations for being something they most certainly are not then check out the frenzied almost punk rock intensity of the album’s anthemic midway point ‘Ain’t Got Time To Bleed’, which with it’s infectious “I Dream Of You In Black And White” refrain enters your head in a way that only an early Abel Ferrara movie would ever have previously dared to. Likewise ‘Herr H Atom’ and ‘Bar Witness’ are tracks so expansive and colossal that they have to be captured in audio widescreen, the band sounding capacious, corpulent and totally compelling.
Seriously folks if Goat Leaf have achieved anything with ‘A Lack of Oxygen - Tales of Crashing Satellites’ then it is that they have produced ten tracks of aesthetically significant rock music in an age of ever growing musical mediocrity – and as you know that’s what Uber Rock is here to fight, right?
So you know what to do next right? Get out there and buy yourself a copy of ‘A Lack of Oxygen - Tales of Crashing Satellites’ when it is released on January 28th 2013, it’s going to bring lightning to our nations, just when we need it most.