Consumer Guide Album
The Goats: Tricks of the Shade [Ruffhouse/Columbia, 1992]
The password invoked to keep the wrong element out of the hip hop club is "beats." Shazzy, Sister Souljah, the Disposable Heroes, the Beastie Boys, all are accused of lacking beats, and no doubt these three rappers and five musicians will get the same treatment. So unless you're a joiner, home in on a fusion deeper than the Chili Peppers' and call them alternative rock. Right, it so happens that this pointedly integrated group is also pointedly leftist. But while I enjoy the numerous skits partly because I approve of their messages, Columbus and flag-burning and Leonard Peltier don't push my buttons even if abortion and class and pleasure do. I listen to this record because I love the way the rap vocals add muscle and edge to the hard-rock guitar and classic-rock bass. As for the beats per se, they're solid. Even slammin.