This is a little late but I thought I’d post a little something, something about my favourite bands’ latest album “Transcendental Youth”. My favourite band being: The Mountain Goats.
The Mountain Goats have been around since 1991 and had a very small independent following for the first ten or so years of their career. I have loved them since I heard Tallehassee released in 2002. Since then I have done all I can to absorb everything they have done but have yet to see them live. Sadly, they don’t often come to Canada and I don’t often travel to the US. I’ll see them someday.
Their latest album is the best, since the release of Heretic Pride (2008), which is one of my favourite releases from them. The haunting lyrics and upbeat tempo of the new songs “Cry for Judas” and “The Diaz Brothers” keep me walking at a brisk pace in the cold of Nova Scotia’s fall. When you’re a pedestrian in an unpredictable climate like Nova Scotia, up-beat is what you need to get you through.
Front –man John Darnielle had a pretty interesting life, which is clear in the lyrical content of his songs. He grew up with an abusive step-father and graduated high school to go on to work as an orderly in a psychiatric hospital in Norwalk, CA. This can account for half the stories he writes into his songs. The amazing clarity in which he describes social interactions is amazing to me. His music drips of regret while celebrating the catastrophe life can become and the peace you can find in acceptance. Low-fi and raw, the music has not changed all that much. You can still find a lot of mic-ing issues smattered through-out the records, and echoes from the walls of the places they choose to record. It's become an endearing quality of the records for me, although from his early days of recording on cassette, the sound quality has noticeably improved.
As I stated before, John's lyrics are haunting. I swear they haunt me while I sleep. I regularly wake up with lyrics like this :
" we are the ones, who don't slow down at all, and there's nobody there, to catch us when we fall, long dark night, morning comes, I'm still here, all is lost"
I mean really? how can you not be haunted by that, or the contrastingly uplifting melody that accompanies it. SIGH! SIIIIIIGGGGHHHHH.