All songs mixed, produced and engineered by Greg Haver at Loco Studios. Pro-tools/assist. engineer Loz Williams. “Lullaby for Abigail” engineered and produced by Goatboy/S. Cullen at Mighty Atom Studios, Swansea. All songs written by Goatboy. Released on Mighty Atom Records, 2003.
According to Wikipedia Goatboy were “an eclectic rock band blending blues, hip-hop, drum n’ bass and stoner rock” and were formed in Swansea in south Wales in 1999. While there are certainly elements of stoner rock, other than the final track on this the band’s second and final release, most of the music is simply too energetic and frantic to be classed as true stoner rock.
The opening track “John Lee said” puts me very much in mind of the Queens of the Stone Age track “Feel good hit of the summer” from Rated R (2001). On more than one listen I found myself singing “Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol” along to the track. While I didn’t hugely enjoy the track it does end with a rather satisfying interrupted cadence at the end.
The EP generally has a loose feel to it. The guitars have that loose stoner vibe, that guitar-plugged-directly-into-a-mildly-overdriven-amp sound. At times the EP sounds not much more than a demo but it certainly demonstrates the bands skill. There’s a tightness to their loose vibe!
One genuine criticism, however, is that a few of the songs do sound surprisingly similar. “Aretha” and “Nitro”, for example, could very much be two parts of the same song. Perhaps this is what prog sounds like when it’s broken down into its constituent parts.
“Portion No 10” differs in that it sounds like the band were visited by the Spin Doctors/Jamiroquai fairy. There are also elements of Helmet, and you can hear what sound like influences from Faith No More’s Mike Patton in the penultimate song “Cannonball dreaming”.
The final song “Lulliby for Abigail” is the only truly laid back song, and at 8′ 15″ it’s also the longest by almost five minutes. It’s quite a rambling at times, almost psychedelic piece. I wonder what the inspiration for it was, it’s quite, quite different to the rest of the album. It’s almost my favourite piece of the seven.
All in all this isn’t a bad EP (a sentence that starts like that is never going to end well, is it?) but it doesn’t really connect with me. I grew to appreciate the songs a bit more each time I listened to them and became familiar with them but… well, that’s about as far as it got: appreciation. Sadly it wasn’t quite enough.
Review score: 45%