Live Review: Goat, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Orb

7 December 2015 | 3:28 pm | Xavier Fennell

"This isn't some pseudo-hippie shit, Goat are the real deal."

Photos by Yana Amur

Photos by Yana Amur

The Croxton Park Hotel recently underwent a full scale refurbishment of its band room. Celebrating the fact with a string of shows featuring great Australian and international artists, tonight the venue hosts local garage psych-out legends King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and totemic Swedish cult lords Goat.

Orb open the night with their deep bleeding Sabbath-inspired doom metal. They're dwarfed by the large Croxton stage but don't seem bothered, happy to plod along at their own pace with solid riffs. The boys are light on lyrics, heavy on riffs, and cheekily sinister.

The Croxton band room is ecstatic as King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard step onto the stage; this is their home turf and the crowd is filled with friends. Stu Mackenzie waves enthusiastically in greeting, taking up his place front and centre before announcing the opener is Robot Stop, a new one.

Despite their wild nature the band instantly falls into their unmistakable groove. However, five minutes in and the band shift from the new song into the motorik Hot Water, Mackenzie wielding the flute with a flourish. Before the band can settle into what could be one of their well known extended jams, Hot Water is melded back into Robot Stop before quickly finishing. Hot Wax follows as the band quickly take a breath; in stepping away jam-style sets of 2014/15, tonight they're taking slightly more conventional route.

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Although it appears that the group follows the direction of Mackenzie, his counts and yelps signalling changes and breaks, the drive comes from Lucas Skinner's rolling bass lines alongside Eric Moore and Michael Cavanagh breezing some solidly lined-up double drumming. Ambrose Kenny-Smith, Joey Walker and Cook Craig provide rhythm and solid personality for Mackenzie to bounce off. The band scoots through a few more new tracks that have a classic, high-powered metal tinge all the way through.

As usual the Mind Fuzz medley whips punters into a frenzy as the band falls once again into their classic rolling groove, occasionally bursting into screaming distortion and fuzz, Mackenzie twisting and rolling his torso in ways that he probably shouldn't. The set closes with a soft, mild rendition of Float Along — Fill Your Lungs before Mackenzie announces that everyone is in for a special treat.

He is referring Sweden's tribal psych lords Goat, the mysterious, nameless group made up of several masked individuals.

A drummer steps on stage to begin the set alone, pounding the kit, followed then by the bassist and eventually the rest of the spiritual group. All don masks and patterned, flowing garb. The vocalists are a duet, harmonising in a chant-like fashion; it seems the crowd is about to be initiated into something that interconnects with the earth itself. A guitarist to the right sends his amp screeching in an uptempo rhythm as the groundwork of the band follows a heavy rock style. The room is entranced as the vocalists begin to sway and wave, their movements becoming animalistic as if they are giving away their humanity.

The fiddling riff of Talk To God, the opening track from their 2014 release Commune, echoes across the room. The vocalists reach out to members of the crowd, connecting and releasing, inviting them into the voodoo-styled goat worship that their music embodies. It is rumoured that the band is multi-generational and that the incarnation of Goat on stage is not the first to grace the world. It's fair to say that the group do not take on the task of music in a typically Western sense, channelling something deeper in the spirit and incarnation of music itself. This isn't some pseudo-hippie shit, Goat are the real deal.

As the set continues the band rises higher, bringing everyone with them as they incite a synchronicity with the world and everyone in it. The crowd is in awe, some struggling to fall into the state of mind the band is working around the room, others waving and swaying their arms allowing Goat to deliver them to the spirit world.