“I have no shame when I say step the fuck away,” drawls singer Lottie Pendlebury on opening track ‘Pest’ with a pessimistic charm that has become a key part of any Goat Girl song.
On All Fours expands where the band left off on their self-titled debut, with light synths interweaving their brooding post-punk set up. Singles ‘Sad Cowboy’ and ‘Badibaba’ are shining examples of delicate and dancing electronic additions. ‘The Crack’ and ‘They Bite on You’ bear the most resemblance to their self-titled debut, packed with murky instrumentals and soft, gloomy vocals. The former imagines an apocalyptic future for the planet, one where humans have fled a climate ravaged earth for space, “The crack was singing protest songs/ The people wouldn’t listen, they didn’t care.”
Goat Girl have never strayed away from wearing their political beliefs on their sleeves. Part of the same South London post-punk wave which birthed Shame and Fat White Family, they don’t fear controversy either. In The Guardian the band reflected on how an inherently sexist industry views them as “harmless” for not being men and that’s despite openly singing about putting Tories on a bonfire. ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’ muses about whether Boris Johnson is rotten under his skin, “I’m sure it stinks under his skin/ Where pores secrete all the hate from within,” whereas ‘Pest’ lays the blame of the world’s problems at the feet of the west.
Like on their debut, the band also draw on anecdotal inspiration from their daily lives. ‘PTSTea’ recalls an encounter on a ferry in which a stranger spilt boiling hot tea all over drummer Rosy Jones and walking off without apologising, “PTSD from a hot cup of tea/ Dumb man wouldn’t even look back at me.” The incident would lead the band having to cancel a number of shows while Jones recovered from their injuries.
The scuzzy guitars and sharp-tongued lyricism are still present on On All Fours, but Goat Girl’s song crafting has taken a more melodic turn, growing out of its fuzz dependent origin while still keeping it’s moody charm. On ‘Closing In’ the electronic additions take on a twitchy and glitchy feel, gliding over lighter and more tuneful indie guitar riffs. ‘Jazz (In the Supermarket)’ is another example of the bands’ sonic expansion, with Pendlebury and Davies’ vocals providing a simple harmony to the twinkling melodies. ‘A-Men’ closes On All Fours out with a delicate and mellow pop-ballad, proving again that Goat Girl are capable of more than just scuzzy post-punk.