The Mountain Goats | All Eternals Deck

Merge (2011)
By MIRIAM LAMEY  |  March 23, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars


The Mountain Goats' 13th studio album is an artfully simple collection featuring narrative-rich lyrics, John Darnielle's flinty, clear vocals, and jangly, driven, acoustic guitars. It's standard Mountain Goats fare, done with precision and intuitive instrumentation. Songs focus on raw themes like hope, doom, and despair, but - despite the potential for impending emotional apocalypse - Darnielle mostly conveys an upbeat mood. "Beautiful Gas Mask" punches with instrumental clarity via honest and bare-bones acoustic guitar and pattering drums. On the dark side, the title of "The Autopsy Garland" might be a tad morbid, but its solemn, raindrop-like melody is enhanced by low, scraping guitar. Standout track "High Hawk Season" engages a Gregorian-chant-like benevolent chorus to support Darnielle's throaty, slightly bitter lead vocal. A cutting guitar rhythm keeps time. The album's outstanding sure-to-be anthem, "Estate Sale Sign," is full of furious strumming and crashing drums under a fast-paced, angry melody. Each note sung by Darnielle explodes over the sonic fury. Over time, the Mountain Goats have explored different emotional territory. Here they prove they can still make humble, evocative music.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, John Darnielle, THE MOUNTAIN GOATS,  More more >
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