Originally released on the now dearly departed Man’s Ruin Records and on vinyl by Southern Lord this long overdue (8 years out of print folks) CD format reissue is a timely reminder of a band who had too short a career.
Goatsnake merely released two full length albums and a handful of EPs in their time with us and set a bar as high as albums by Kyuss, Sleep, Orange Goblin etc. Make no mistake Goatsnake may not be talked of in quite such hushed and reverent tones, but the truth is they should be.
Engineered and mixed by Nick Raskulinecz who has worked on Danzig, Alice In Chains and the Foo Fighters this is a muscular release that sounds vibrant and fresh even today, capturing a band whose song writing and performance was gathering pace and momentum.
The album is the bands heaviest and yet most melodic. Something of a stock cliché from bands when talking up new pieces of music but the gift of hindsight shows that this is exactly the case with all members having upped their game for this record. It really is the best article of the band’s craft, the injection of new blood as Guy Perkins departed to be replaced by Burning Witches Stuart Dahlquist seemingly gave Goatsnake the impetus to stretch themselves and push their own boundaries.
The inclusion of lapsteel, violin, mouth harp and piano shows a band unafraid to experiment and these touches add rather than distract, a further dimension of light and shade to a sound that already boasted huge grooving riffs and the insightful, searching lyrics courtesy of Pete Stahl.
Taking cues from masters of the craft past and (at the time) present the delivery on this album is almost flawless; from the glorious rock out of ‘El Coyote’ to the crawling sludgefest that is ‘The Dealer’ and featuring guest collaborations from Petra Haden and Dave Catching (QOTSA, Mondo Generator & Eagles Of Death Metal) this is essential for devotees of the genre.
It is almost a shame for the uninitiated to hear this album fresh for the first time ten years after it was released as there has been an explosion in second rate stoner/doom bands since this lost gem was issued on now rare as rocking horse shit vinyl, but we can be extremely grateful that Southern Lord has given the world the opportunity to hear it again.
From the crystal clear sound, the shiny packaging to the sheer joy of being able to get your hands on a decent copy, the bottom line is that if you are unfamiliar with this band, hell, even this album, one has to question how you are even on this site in the first place.
Scribed by: Mark Hunt-Bryden