Featured Review: Goths by The Mountain Goats
Review by Thomas Troyan
Coming more than two years since 2015’s Beat the Champ is the Mountain Goats’ sixteenth studio album. Hanging up the belt from last album’s wrestling theme introduces the new concept of Goth culture, as the title suggests. The album opens up with the dark and inviting “Rain in Soho” (Track 1) featuring references to the Smiths, D.B. Cooper, and gothic nightclubs, backed by a choir as Darnielle belts out his lyrics. This is followed up my the bouncy, melancholic “Andrew Eldritch is Moving Back to Leeds” (Track 2) giving a story of the titular Sisters of Mercy frontman moving back home. Tracks like Andrew Eldritch bring back memories of last year’s Beat the Champ, utilizing the album’s theme concept to bring forth feelings that the listener can relate to. This kind of feeling is brought back later on the album on the track “Shelved” (Track 10), featuring a verse written and sang by bassist Peter Hughes. While I do overall think that this is a good album, a few of the tracks are brought down by being a tad bit too long. Despite this, Darnielle still manages to bring some catchy tunes on tracks such as “Unicorn Tolerance” (Track 5) or even on slower songs such as “Stench of the Unburied” (Track 6). And while this album does feature really catchy and fun tracks, it left me wanting a bit more that I’ve come to expect from Darnielle, given his previous works.
RIYL: John Vanderslice, Nana Grizol, The Magnetic Fields
Recommended: 1, 2, 5, 6, 10