The Mountain Goats

The Mountain Goats

The Mountain Goats

Heretic Pride


The Mountain Goats are an important band. With over 400 songs in their repertoire, they attract a wide range of independent music connoisseurs and die-hard “Goaties” that lose themselves in lead singer John Darnielle’s jagged introspection. The band is recognized with powerful presence. Darnielle’s lyrics are confrontational yet sincere, metaphorical but protected, driven into poetical heaves with wee jabs of nonsense. They are reflective with snaring vocals and folk impulses that allude to nature and the ego. But despite their history, The Mountain Goats’ latest record, Heretic Pride takes on a new optimism in comparison to the early melancholy records such as the downhearted variations of Get Lonely (2006).

The album begins with the song “Sax Rhomer #1,” introducing string instruments against a raw guitar. “Craters on the Moon” follows it up with epic rhythms of sharks and war, as the album’s ballad “Autoclave” embodies love and guts in the same orchestration. The arrangement between vocals and strings elicits a sort of sincerity contrasting heavily with the album’s overall sarcasm. It is memorable with ironic moments that downcast Darnielle’s sodden perspective.

Heretic Pride is a dubious plea for contentment, or rebellion, or acknowledgment. It is an album to reflect to. Therefore, the songs may need a few takes because it will take more than just one listen to soak it all in. After the third playback, I finished The Mountain Goats off with a good aftertaste. Even though Darnielle still verbally discharges much of his grief, Heretic Pride has managed to end this all with a hopeful skepticism that more than just “Goaties” relate to.

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