Posted by: Dave on July 11, 2005 at 10:35 pm

Sound: Narrative and confessional folky rock driven by acoustic guitar, piano and strings that occasionally build into intense arrangements
Vocals: A little flat and nasal; cut sharply above the mix; poignant
Look for: Desperate but inspiring choruses like “I am going to make it through this year, if it kills me” (“This Year”) “I hold on for dear life, I hold on, and my arms get sore” (“Lion’s Teeth”)
Note: The Mountain Goats have been the brainchild of John Darnielle since 1991. He released several lo-fi tracks and albums throughout the ‘90s. Since signing to 4AD Records in 2002, he’s adopted a more polished sound.
Heavy Rotation tracks:This Yearicon” (Top 20 Songs of 2005 Candidate); “Lion’s Teethicon” (Top 20 Songs of 2005 Candidate)
Medium Rotation tracks:Love Love Loveicon“; “Magpieicon“; “Up the Wolvesicon“; “Dance Musicicon
Recommended: To fans of direct songwriting with many unforgettable lines who can embrace the potentially polarizing vocals
Grade: A- (Top 20 Albums of 2005 Candiate)

(As posted 7/11/05 on
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One Response to “The Mountain Goats The Sunset Tree (4AD)”

  1. New Music Nation » Blog Archive » The Mountain Goats Heretic Pride (4AD) Says:

    […] Sound: A mix of urgent, desperate indie rock and vulnerable, reserved folky reflections driven by either hard strummin’ or lightly plucked acoustic guitar. Strings, piano and organ slide in and out of the mix, and one time they even deploy a hard riffin’ electric guitar. But the most prominent instrument of all is John Darnielle’s voice, which can be shrill and piercing or meager and pathetic. On Heretic Pride, though, his vocals fall somewhere in between those two extremes, making this one of his least polarizing performances. Heavy Rotation tracks: “Lovecraft In Brooklyn”; “Sax Rohmer #1″; “Autoclave” Medium Rotation tracks: “San Bernadino”; “Heretic Pride”; “Tianchi Lake” Recommended: If you’ve had trouble getting into The Mountain Goats, it’s likely that the vocals were too in-your-face or the lyrics were too over-the-top in their narrative, pained detail. On Heretic Pride, John Darnielle tones down some of those more extreme tendencies and delivers his most diverse and accessible album. The end result is an album that’s just as consistent as The Sunset Tree (my #16 Album of 2005), but it lacks standout tracks on the level of “This Year” and “Lion’s Teeth.” Grade: B+ […]

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