The Austrasian Goat

Picture of The Austrasian Goat

The Body Covers EP

The Austrasian Goat - The Body Covers EP ©2010 Wee Wee Records
1. Shoot High, Aim Low
2. Mass Death and Destruction
3. Transilvanian Hunger

For some obscure artists, having the right album artwork can make the difference in whether or not a potential listener will actually check out the music. In the case of the Austrasian Goat, a one man project from France, the Swans homage for The Body Covers caught my attention to this unusual EP. Ironically, despite painstakingly creating artwork that looks precisely like any given Swans cover, there isn't actually a cover of Swans on this EP nor that band's side project The Body Lovers. Instead, the Austrasian Goat offers up three odd choices: Yes, Disclose (whom I'm not familiar with, but I assume they're part of the Discharge genre of crust) and Darkthrone.

The cover of "Shoot High, Aim Low" is rather outstanding. The Austrasian Goat strips away all the bigtime arena rock overtones of Yes and very thankfully does not try to imitate the vocal stylings of Jon Anderson. Rather, this new version finds the Austrasian Goat offering quieter, somber singing over a mixture of dark ambience and acoustics. The Disclose cover is a quick blast of raw black metal, demonstrating where the Austrasian Goat's roots presumably are. The cover of Darkthrone's "Transilvanian Hunger" is a hoot. The Austrasian Goat bypasses all things black metal for this classic tune and instead broods over acoustic guitar and tambourine, even sneaking in a jaunty feel. Too many bands end up imitating the original when performing a cover, but the Austrasian Goat really takes this song and makes it its own. All it needs is a campfire and ghost stories.

From what I've discovered about the Austrasian Goat, this is a very profilific project that has released a dizzying number of blatantly obscure and limited edition splits and EPs. Chances are that without the Swans styled album artwork to initially catch my eye, I might never have paid any attention to this band. The three covers here suggest this band has a quite varied approach to music so it's hard to say what other releases might contain, but I'm aiming to find out more because I like this EP so much.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/2012

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