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The Mountain Goats (from the album Bleed Out available on Merge Records) (by Danny McCloskey)
The theme of Bleed Out, the latest release from The Mountain Goats, centers on action films, specifically those released in the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Bleed Out is a sonic cinematic experience, best described by Mountain Goats frontman songwriter John Darnielle, who announces ‘so, heads up. I got this idea to write a bunch of songs where they were all up-tempo mini-action movies. Plots, characters, heists, hostages, questionable capers, getaway cars, all that stuff. Gas pedal glued to the floor. Eventually as you might guess I wanted at least one song where the tempo relaxed a little and that’s the title track but otherwise buckle up. We hid out in the woods in Chapel Hill and made this album with nobody knowing about it. Proper secret-soldier style. It has been pretty hard keeping this under our hats, we are really proud of what we got here. Alicia Bognanno produced & played with us, and the great Shani Gandhi mixed. The first single is ‘Training Montage’ which does what it says on the tin, and you can preorder the album now, and as for tour dates…you know we gotta bring these uptempo jams to a stage near you at the earliest possible convenience’.
The words of John Darnielle take their place beside A-list literary writers of the 20th and 21st centuries. His bandmates for The Mountain Goats a roving cast of characters, backing the vignettes aka songs of the band with an ever-changing soundscape. Beginning with lo-fi cassette releases in 1991, The Mountain Goats have been a continual vehicle for the prolific writings of John Darnielle, who released his third novel in 2022.
Opening cut “Training Montage” sets the stage for Bleed Out with chord strums and a dramatic visual before tearing into the track screaming ‘I’m doing this for revenge”. Over a hurried rhythm Rambo gets a tribute in “First Blood” as The Mountain Goats dial in TV News for “Hostage” over a floating Indie psychedelic groove while the beat of “Wage Wars Get Rich Die Handsome” is already laying rubber when John Darnielle begins the song’s story with ‘floor the pedal at the green light’. A late-night noir saxophone signals the start of “Guys on Every Corner” and a sense of urgency drives “Need More Bandages” and “Extraction Point” while The Mountain Goats rip the veil off the threat with “Make You Suffer” as Bleed Out closes its doors on the gentle sway of the title track. (by Danny McCloskey)
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