Get Your Rock Out! Album Review

Goat Leaf – ‘A Lack of Oxygen – Tales of Crashing Satellites’



Goat Leaf’s sophomore album, A Lack of Oxygen-Tales of Crashing Satellites, is one hell of a sleazy album. The sound combines “punk rock attitude with a deep blue psychedelic overtone”, delivering a truly impressive tone. The album, following their 2011 debut Colorscene, is perfectly pitched between passion and precision.

The technical performances on the album are very impressive, David Main’s bass work particularly stands out as he delivers consistently brilliant rhythms to underline the rest of the band’s playing while also having the skill to stand out as an individual in the mix. On top of the skill found in the instrumentalists’ playing is the superb polish of Jonny Maycock’s vocals. The singer’s delivery manages to brilliantly balance between the refinement of a studio recording and the grit of a live performance. This is emblematic of the band’s performance on the album as, throughout, the music manages to maintain all the skill and elegance of studio experience while also capturing the raw energy and power of the live performances that Goat Leaf are quickly establishing themselves with. Maycock’s voice has all the hallmarks of great blues/pub rock, it’s not hard to draw similarities with acts such Blood Red Shoes or the White Stripes, but this is supported by an instrumental sound that is closer in tone to Queens of the Stone Age, thus providing a diverse full band sound that manages to display a truly fresh talent in a way that, though comparable to other bands, is never tired or done before.

Opening track ‘A Lack of Oxygen’ stands out with its “big balls heavy rock swagger” that sets the tone for the rest of the album, in its prominent display of the individual talents of each band member while presenting a uniquely impressive sound to the listener. Yet it is ‘Wolf Bag’ that really impresses. The instrumental work on the track is simply fantastic. The bass rhythms, conjoined with the guitar work for the most part, relentlessly drive the track forward while the drums, played by Mat Washington, lay down an equally frenetic beat to pound the song into the mind of the listener. Over all of this, John Hodgson’s guitar work displays a truly psychedelic performance as the guitar flows throughout the track from a driving riff linked with the bass to a solo that is almost ethereal and very much reminiscent of the strange realms the Queens of the Stone Age go to.

Overall, Goat Leaf’s new album presents a truly enjoyable listening experience, clocking in at just under 45 minutes. A fresh talent that manages to encompass all the skill of the studio and all the passion of live performance, Goat Leaf have delivered an album that showcases a fresh talent very much going places with several tricks up their sleeves. What impressed me most was the display of each and every band member to their full ability. There is no preference in the mix, each band member gets their time in the spotlight and manages to prove that each and every one of them has more than earned their place in the band and have the talent to carry Goat Leaf to the places it deserves to go.

 

Track Listing:

  1. A Lack of Oxygen
  2. Moot Point
  3. Love Under Will
  4. Truth Be Told
  5. Wolf Bag
  6. Ain’t Got Time To Bleed
  7. Herr H Atom
  8. Bare Witness
  9. One Last Line
  10. They Fell At Tucumcari

Review: C. Tyndall

C. Tyndall