Only in Sweden: The Scary and Mysterious ‘Goat’ Collective

Image via Sub Pop

The Goat ‘collective’ is not a cute bunch of furry farm animals, although they may be for all I know. This music group from an obscure town in north west Sweden played their concert here in New York with the seven current members dressed in wild, head to toe costumes—each one different, . They are a ‘collective’ in the sense that they have alternated members for over 20 years, but maybe three are the same. Currently, this weird concept has two awesome guitar players, a virtuoso bass, a smoking drummer, a conga drummer, plus two girl singers who dance more strenuously than a spinning class for the entire hour and a half plus show, while singing in unison. Exhausting! Even categorizing the music is hard because it’s got tentacles in many genres. Let’s say it’s psychedelic funky disco jam pop world music, and leave it at that. 

Goat 7

Funny thing about these groups that play in disguises, is they’re usually are so good at their instruments that you’d think they wouldn’t have to resort to a gimmick. For instance, The Residents, a 20 year old group from Mars [and, on earth, the Bay area] wear different costumes for each tour, which occurs not too often. They are some kick ass musicians, but they are also Freddy Krueger-like scary. 

The story of Goat is that the town they are from in Sweden has a dark history of Voodoo, via a witch doctor that lived there. I always thought they preferred warmer climates. When Christian crusaders came and destroyed their town, the fleeing people put a curse on the town, alas, the costumes? The only thing cute is the story. Well, the music they play is intense, the costumes make them ominous, the show was fun and rewarding, but I had no desire to pet these Goats. 


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