(LP - Rocket #234)

Review by Tim Sendra

Swedish psych weirdos Goat put together a sterling collection of albums between 2012 and 2016, jamming together African funk, Turkish psych, paint-peeling punk, free jazz, and loads of overloaded guitars into a sound that's somewhere in the vicinity of unique. Sounding like there are about 30 people at any one time playing everything from flute and sax to all manner of drums, the band has a joyous and uplifting sound that's captured perfectly on Headsoup, a collection of singles, alternate versions, and unreleased songs stretching back to the flipside of their debut 2012 single. That song, "The Sun and Moon," goes a long way to framing the parameters of the band's "take no prisoners" approach. Built on a rumbling rhythm and guitars that sound like they were plugged directly into power wires, there are humming flocks of flutes, people going wild on hand percussion, and female vocals that should come with a "don't try this at home" warning all lashed to a groove so propulsive it feels like it's pushing the listener right out of their chair and onto an imaginary dancefloor. It's a feat of sonic power and daring that they repeat over and over here. And to think these are the songs that didn't make the cut on their albums! Over the course of the collection it's fun to hear the progression the band makes from deranged psych warriors to slightly more under control magicians. 2014's "Dreambuilding" takes a lighter, more sprightly approach (at least until the earwax-melting guitar solo comes in), and by 2016 they'd added some slinky jazz ("The Snake of Addis Ababa") and some electronics and dub ("Goatfizz). Two tracks from 2020 -- the rollicking "Fill My Mouth" and the grinding stoner-metal-tinged "Queen of the Underground'' -- show they hadn't left off making some of the most exciting, most imaginative psychedelia anywhere and at any time. This compilation is positively essential for fans of the band and of psychedelia of all kinds.