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"I" CD/LP Reviews

 

KNAC.com

The First Commandment Of Rock: Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Goatsnake. Harking back to the days of yore when rock n' fucking roll was baaaaaaaaadass and pure evil, these heavy mothafuckas play metal that's about as sludge-filled as the bottom of Lake Superior. Jesus, there's no way to listen to this album without unintentionally banging thy head. These guys don't know the meaning of the phrase "power ballad," lemme tell ya, and god bless 'em. I defy you to spin this CD and not throw up the metal sign at least once.

Formed by ex-members of the (un)godly, doom-based rock monsters Obsessed, Goatsnake clearly worship at the throne of Black Sabbath. Every song is tuned down almost below the threshold of hearing and are powered by guitar riffs courtesy of Metallurgist/Guitarist Greg Anderson that feel like someone is pummeling your chest with a sledgehammer. Every song on this eight-song record makes you want to grow a beard, buy a Harley, throw a biker chick on the back and ride into a crystal meth-fueled night, just like the lovely biker couple on the album cover. If the Hell's Angels had been listening to Goatsnake right before the Altamont/Rolling Stones fiasco, there would be a lot more violence that just one death, believe you me.

What separates these Vikings Of Rock from the other down-tuned from the rest of the bottom-feeders of metal out there is the fact that these kids actually have (gulp!) melodies, and they're damn...well...catchy, but not in a Winger sort of way. Nor are there any scream-fests here, folks, just good ol' fashioned balls-to-da-wall RAWK. This CD's highlight is "Dog Catcher," a devilish homage to, best as I can figger it, a goddamn dogcatcher. It's about as evil as musically evil as one can get, and it's about a dogcatcher. Works for me.

This album is about as dark as you can get these days. Listen to this album just once and you'll be drawing pentagrams on your floor and hailing the Horned One in seconds flat. Keep this one away from postal workers, please.

 

www.marksound.com

I don't know about you but I've been waiting for this for a long time as I heard one of the tracks Mower ages ago. Pete Stahl is back ! Track one 'Slippin The Stealth' has got a real Kyuss 'Thumb' riff........... which is a good start !
THIS ALBUM ROCKS ! I've read some bad reviews for this album, which are obviously wrong !!!!!!! Loads of very-tight very-heavy riffs, old-school doom in places..... and Pete Stahls voice, suits stoner so well....on Desert Sessions III he sang the QOTSA song 'Avon' better than JH........ It's been a long time since the awesome Wool. But this is a massive step forward, lots of styles have been explored on this, including a real experimental noises sort of thing which lots of the Desert Sessions people have been doing on their own releases.......... they've all probably got the same dealer !
Favorite track: 'Innocent', what more can I say but Black Sabbath !

 

Eyeless

The first thing that strikes you about this long-awaited Goatsnake LP is the unique cover art. A truly remarkable unreconstructed rock album cover if ever I saw one. This homage to dodgy biker t-shirts immediately distinguishes this album from the crowd. Here we have an album with artwork that does not scream, "Look how cool this album is, please buy me!", but rather makes you think, "What the hell is that?" Immediately the casual buyer (and certain people who should know better: "...one might easily be tempted to ignore it purely because the sleeve art is so bad. Clearly it's based on one of those godawful old centre-spreads from American biker rag ‘Easy Riders. It's blend of macho Confederate-Viking bollocks with a poorly scrawled scantily clad wench on the back and is guaranteed to irritate just about anyone whose knuckles don't touch the ground when they're standing up." Mörat, Kerrang!, May 8, 1999. Actually, no Mörat, we use our heads and consider why the cover looks like it does. Hey, you never know, it might even be some kind of joke) is put off by the shameless Heavy Metal nature of the art, leaving those who actually want some kind of Manowar type thing, and those who wisely think that there has got to be more to this album than that. And they would be absolutely spot on.

Goatsnake are something of a doom supergroup, with the line up listed on the inlay as Greg Rogers: Battery (ex The Obsessed), Guy Pinhas: Bottum (also ex The Obsessed), Pete Stahl: Throat & Harp (ex Wool and Scream, current eARTHLINGS?, sometime Desert Sessioner) and Greg Anderson: Sunn Amps (ex erm I dunno, I'm sure someone will tell me). Such esteemed personnel means that anticipation of this debut has been great, especially following the storming "Mower" as heard on the "Welcome to Meteor City" and "Stoned Revolution" compilations and such high expectations are not disappointed.

The album begins with a distorted roar and then launches headlong into a head down Sabbath charge on opener "Slippin the Stealth" (quote from the inlay: Goatsnake uses Sunn Amps, Gibson Guitars & Basses and Sabbath Riffs exclusively because they want the best) and what follows is pure stoner satisfaction. The band gels superbly and they have achieved a magnificent, thick, warm sound with the help of Count Schneeberger(?).

This is however, no run of the mill stoner album, as there is huge variety to be found here. At all times when listening to "I" there is a sense that Goatsnake are not approaching things in a straightforward way. There is innovation and intelligence here, despite the LP's dumbed down appearance as shown through the variety of tracks on offer. We get the aforementioned Black Sabbath tinged "Slippin the Stealth"; the bizarrely chugging "IV" (again, let's play spot the Sabbath influence) with it's lazy sounding, behind-the-beat rhythm, with a certain Swans ambience; the blatantly Melvinsesque "Dog Catcher" (hell, Count Buzzo produced it, so if it can't be Melvinsesque, what can?); and the almost Alice in Chains feel of the slow burning "What Love Remains".

The only quibble therefore, is with the album's brevity. At thirty-six minutes, it's all over way too soon, especially when you consider that six of those minutes are taken up by "Mower" which has been released twice before. This is an album that absorbs you and with it being so short, you really do need the repeat button.

 

Metal Hammer (UK) by Essi Berelian

This is one for the doom & stoner fraternity out there. Thiink of The Obsessed and you'll have two of this four-piece pegged: Greg Rogers and Guy Pinhas, on drums and bass respectively. Then there are the riffmongous talents of Greg Anderson and the ozzy-style hollerings of Pete Stahl. And to round it off they're on Lee Dorrian's very own label. Now there's a set of credentials to set pulses racing assuming, of course, you're not already wreathed in herbal smoke at the mere thought of it all.

Built around the formidably dense and impenetrable style of riffing familier to anyone to has experienced the mighty Sabbath, this is refreshingly modern take on an established sound. The neat thing is that these guys aren't permanently stuck in a time-warp; they simply take the poer and the passion and channel it into something other than angst, and in this case it's melodic while also being unshamedly metal.

If you dug, say, Kyuss or reckon that Queens Of The Stone Age are gods, then you really should seek this out. And, dare I say, Fu Manchu had better watch their backs?

 

www.lamcat.demon.co.uk

First up comes the mighty (and I really do mean mighty) Goatsnake, featuring ex-members of The Obsessed, Wool and Engine. With their first album this band seem to have reintroduced the concept of traditional Doom Metal into the whole Stoner scene, and with an unparalleled level of success. Heavier than twenty elephants and as frazzled as Sleep at their most comatose, the songs on "I" are uniformly stunning, blending the deepest of blues with all the most desirable aspects one expects from this genre, including some superb semi-clean and wickedly soulful vocals from Pete Stahl, star of several moments on those lovely Desert Sessions EPs put out by Frank Kozik's Man's Ruin imprint. The guitar parts have a delicious swagger about them, the bass is so low it's practically subterranean and the whole thing hurtles along (in so much as anything this laid-back can hurtle!) with one eye on some excellent melodies and the other on several thick layers of irresistible fuzzed-up belligerence. But it is for songs that Goatsnake will inevitably be remembered, because every last one of these suckers is a classic, from the dinosaur-harmonica stylings of the opening "Slippin The Stealth" through to the staggering finale, the truly awesome "Trower", which blends Bongzilla-style sludge with an inspired slab of mournful chamber music - clever, compelling and, in its own strange way, highly original. You won't find many Stoner albums as good as this one, and I'll be amazed if Goatsnake aren't cluttering up all those Top 10 lists at the end of the year because "I" is a fucking brilliant record, pure and simple.

 

 

Zero Magazine by Jason Rothman

Goatsnake’s self-titled CD is like the Giant Dipper roller coaster in Santa Cruz. The sound is big and classic, it shakes you up a bit and you have to listen to it over and over again. Goatsnake plays thick and heavy, but not fast and too fuzzed out. Don’t get me wrong, it’s distorted, but all the notes come through clean. This eight-song CD, starts hard with “Slippin’ the Stealth” and “Innocent,” and keeps going through until the end. The band uses a drop D tuning to achieve a huge bottom end to build on. Then the guys stack on some strong rock riffs and vocals that match what the band is trying to convey.  To quote the liner notes of the CD, "Goatsnake uses Sunn Amps, Gibson Guitars and Basses and Sabbath Riffs, exclusively, because they want the best." How can you argue with that?

 

Rature.com by J. Bennett

Thicker than the thickest thick rock and twice as heavy, Goatsnake have been burning up L.A. for the past two years and up until now have released but a solitary 7” (and an appearance on the Welcome To MeteorCity compilation) to showcase their fearsome talents.  Featuring Pete Stahl (Wool, Scream, Earthlings?) at the microphone, guitarist Greg Anderson (Engine Kid), and Guy Pinhas and Greg Rogers from The Obsessed, these doom junkies are a force to be reckoned with.  Before I weigh this review down with too many adjectives, let me just say that Goatsnake I is my pick for heavy album of the year in 1999.  The churning, infectious guitar riffs and high-powered melodic vocals are what carry this record past "great" into the realm of "fucking amazing".  This is a highly satisfying listening experience of the first degree, attaining that perfect double-helix combination of slow low-end rumble and silky smooth rock hooks.  Yeah.

 

Ear Pollution.com

This is a supergroup of sorts, consisting of ex-members of various now defunct Washington, D.C. bands--"heavy metallers" Greg Rogers and Guy Pinhas from The Obsessed, "punk rawkers" Greg Anderson from Engine Kid and vocalist Pete Stahl from Scream and Wool. With this line up of punk meets Sabbath, what does it sound like? Well, if you throw in Sabbath, Melvins, St. Vitus, Sleep and a mix of Ian Ashbury/Chris Cornell/Ozzy vocal style all rolled into one, you'll get Goatsnake's slow powerful head banging hair flopping dirges from hell. We were kind of wondering if the guitar player cut off one of his fingers to sound a little more like Tony's. We liked most of this disc, but after about 4-5 songs they kind of lost it. The promo poster that came with it was so goddamned evil that we had to opene another cold one to wash down the demonic taste in our mouths. This prompted another listen, which brought back the crushing doom-laden dirge that had our heads banging, all of which had led Peter to think that Man's Ruin was becoming the "hot" new metal label.

 

'Music Corner'

Comprised of Greg Rogers and Guy Pinhas from The Obsessed, Engine Kid guitarist Greg Anderson and Wool / Scream vocalist Pete Stahl, Goatsnake pummells you like there's no tomorrow with a Sabbath-heavy bottom end, massive fuzzed-out guitars and a dirge-like touch of Doom.