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Posted by: Dave on February 26, 2008 at 10:45 am

MountainGoatsHereticSound: 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+

Listen to Tracks/Buy Music:
On iTunes
On amazon.com



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