Lubricated Goat

  • Lubricated Goat
  • Lubricated Goat Plays the Devil's Music (Aus. Black Eye) 1987  (Amphetamine Reptile) 1989 
  • Paddock of Love (Aus. Black Eye) 1988  (Amphetamine Reptile) 1989 
  • Psychedelicatessen (Amphetamine Reptile) 1989 
  • Schadenfreude EP (Aus. Black Eye) 1989 
  • Forces You Don't Understand (PCP) 1995 

Some of the crudest sounds from Australia’s belly were belched up by Lubricated Goat, a band which originally featured two former members of Salamander Jim. Since getting underway in early ’86, Goatees have slipped in and out and back in again, though the groans, gristle and guttural grunts of Stu Spasm (as well as the backdrop of bleating horns and discordant guitars) have held steady.

Despite ten-cent production and an organization level that makes playtime in kindergarten seem like a crack marching band, The Devil’s Music offers the Goat’s most inventive montage of styles and instrumentation; beneath the recurring sodomite/fatality themes and Spasm’s occasional possessed rants smolders a weird core of blues and jazz inspiration. “Goats and the Men Who Ride Them,” one of several instrumentals, could serve as a striptease for strangling hyenas; overlooking the titles, other vocal- less tracks that could be film scores include “Frotting With Ennio” (a disturbed children’s movie, perhaps), “Nervequake” (slapstick) and “Anal Injury” (silent comedy).

Paddock of Love emits similar primal sentiments (with an emphasis on cannibalism), but at less obtuse angles. The Goat forfeits the spontaneity and creativity of the first album in favor of cohesion. Still, there are plenty of fun-filled moments of tightly wound psychotic gumbo: “Funeral on a Spit,” “Promised Land” and “He Moves in Mysterious Ways.”

The Schadenfreude EP winds and meanders in dissembled repetition, lacking humor and direction, though the accelerator motion and skidding distortion of “Magumbo Head” does briefly relieve the monotony.

Though the guitar-rock sound may hardly reflect it, the Goat on Psychedelicatessen includes sampler wrangler Lachlan McLeod (also ex-Salamander); Spasm and longtime drummer Martin Bland both take credit for synths as well. (The lineup is completed by a guitar/sax player.) Abandoning the overt dementia of previous records, Spasm relaxes into a more integrated, spoken pitch here, and the tightened-up band drives the songs along with brain-driller riffs, as on the seasick humor of “Stroke,” the insidious crawl of “Spoil the Atmosphere” and the flat-out instrumental mania of “Never Know What Hit You.”

The band split up midway through a 1990 European tour that was aborted after Spasm was stabbed in Berlin. He returned to New York and married Babes in Toyland singer Kat Bjelland, with whom he formed the short-lived Crunt. After they divorced, Spasm re-activated Lubricated Goat with an all-star assortment of Big Apple scum-rockers — including Cop Shoot Cop guitarist Tod Ashley, Railroad Jerk bassist Tony Lee and Motherhead Bug trumpet player Jim Collaruso. Forces You Don’t Understand, the only recorded output from that incarnation, rages just as loudly as the original band’s work, but the new players push Spasm into artier terrain, marked by Birthday Party-styled spazz-jazz and surprisingly urbane death-blues.

[Marlene Goldman / Deborah Sprague]

See also: Beasts of Bourbon