The MOUNTAIN GOATS – ” The Goths “

Posted: May 5, 2017 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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John Darnielle was a goth kid. Maybe not as regards Siouxsie Sioux levels of cool-goth, but enough to wear a little black eyeliner and sport a gloomy undertaker look. “A bad undertaker, I guess, because a good undertaker doesn’t remind you of death,” he tells laughing.

For Goths, Darnielle and The Mountain Goats don’t so much mine the bleakly romantic sounds of say a Sisters Of Mercy or The Birthday Party, but explore what it means to grow old in goth and, by extension, grow old in any youthful outcast culture.

Joined by members of the Nashville Symphony Chorus, album opener “Rain In Soho” is a pounding barnburner chorale that has more in common with the over-the-top theatrics of ’70s arena-rock than the soul-tinged soft-rock that unexpectedly permeates Goths. When Darnielle sings, “No one knows where the lone wolf sleeps / No one sees the hidden treasure in the castle keep,” the choir responds with a sassy “No, no, no, no, like a ’60s girl group. “Rain In Soho” paints a bleak-but-loving picture of a nightclub London goths called home in the ’80s and that goths worldwide sought out in reports from friends and magazines. “You could meet someone who’s lost like you,” Darnielle sings. “Revel in the darkness like a pair of open graves / Fumble through the fog for a season or two.”

Goths wrestles with impermanence and the past with a mixture of humor and empathy for which Darnielle has become known. It’s a different sort of record for The Mountain Goats and is quickly becoming a new favorite of mine.

From the album Goths, out May 19th, 2017 on Merge Records.

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