This trio's approach is similar at times to the musical cubism of the Magic Band but at others they go into overdrive to create a maelstrom of sound without ever completely abandoning melody and rhythm. The group's name evokes the devil, Freemasonry, and Doctor John R. Brinkley's testicular transplants.
Udders collects songs from previous vinyl releases and adds one new track. Even the shortest of the nine pieces contains an intriguing range of pace and mood. "Derek & Dot" for example, goes from brooding splutter to accelerating guitar to a meltdown crescendo of bass, drums and guitar. The mood throughout is intense and anxious. I particularly like the way that the bass guitar is sometimes used almost like a bell, to keep time, while the other instruments flow around it. "Varicose Jibs" is one of several wonderfully punishing slaps around the ears. A sort of relief, or contrast, comes on "Jipper Flow," with a slower pace, scratched guitars and fluttering drums.
Honey Ride Me A Goat‚Äôs website provides a sense of humor to go with the intensity and uncompromising turn-on-a-sixpence nature of their music. There are many pictures of curry and odd messages such as "due to certain circumstances we can‚Äôt play in Sheffield any longer." Another picture shows one member of the group in an apron: obviously a reference to Freemasons who are said to use the initiation practice of "riding the goat." Greek and Roman versions of Pan depicted a goat which Christianity then adopted to depict Satan, who in The Middle Ages was rumored to appear at witch orgies riding on a goat. Goat imagery was thus transferred onto Freemasons to taint them as evil in the common, suspicious, superstitious mind. I suppose modern day conspiracy theorists could easily point to the fact that the President of the USA was reading "My Pet Goat" while the Twin Towers were attacked to perpetuate the notion that "evil" won't rest until Earth is destroyed by Babylonian Gods of War and the victorious goat resides in heaven. All of which might explain why the bees are disappearing at the same time as swarms of bald guys with goatees seem to be everywhere.
Musically, Honey Ride Me A Goat attack their instruments with true skill; they have the chops to bash out an unholy racket and (instrumentally) quote from the wilder side of musical history. Their music ends up balanced, unpretentious, and pretty accessible. Overall, the most jumbled and tangled sections of this album are the most relaxing since there is a sense of utter abandon to those parts. Ordinarily, I prefer short, sharp shocks of the sort of aggressive, wild sprawl and quasi-mathematical structures which we can hear on Udders. Longer pieces such as "Ethel," however, work well and have enough engaging twists and turns to satisfy. There are even some wordless vocals at the end of that song.
If Honey Ride Me A Goat ever broaden their sound with some lyrics I hope they consider the advertising devices of Doctor John R. Brinkley. In the US Depression he made millions by adding slices of goat gonad to the scrotums of willing rich suckers wanting to get back their old potency. Profits from his nuts-into-nuts transplants were used¬†to fund his mega-watt radio station blaring music and ads for his services (laced with biblical verse) from Del Rio on the Texas/Mexico border all the way to New York City. The limp wealthy flocked to shower him with cash in the hope of returning to youthful vigor. Accusations of blasphemy and quackery poured down upon the goatee-sporting Brinkley. His station was once the most powerful on Earth, a million watts which drowned out everything else. On a clear day it reached Europe and people complained they could pick it up in their tooth fillings. Honey Ride Me A Goat's music is potent and life-affirming; and may well rattle a few fillings before they are done.