Formed in 1995, the Mountain Goats are a band not many know about, but everyone who discovers them feels like they have known them forever. I was first introduced to this band sometime in 2008 by a fellow store manager when I was working in an entertainment superstore. After talking about comics, movies and music for a few hours into the night, my friend asked me out of the blue, if I had heard of the Mountain Goats. When I indicated I had not, he told me that I needed to and ensured that they were on the sound system the next day at work. From that moment on, I knew I had found a band I would love for the rest of my life.
Why This Album?
Transcendental Youth is an album with stories covering acceptance, perseverance and just plain living your life as you see fit. Each song covers moments in time that every person has seen in one form or another, from fits of rage, to revelations of personal acceptance.
Combining a mix of acoustics tunes and full on instrumental arrangements, I am amazing by the depth and intricacies this band has while at the same time managing to remain accessible to new fans who want something new. From John Darnielle’s unassuming vocals to Jon Wurster’s powerful drumming, this is an album that makes you look forward to each and every track. Darnielle has a unique way with his words that, while at face value seems like nonsense at times, there is a deeper more clever meaning behind each and every word. As much a poet as he is a songwriter, I find more and more with every listening, even having listened to this album innumerable times to date.
I don’t really know what it is about this album that makes me love it so much. It could be the messages of acceptance, and confirmation that we all have difficult times that will pass or just the sheer talent behind the band but every time I listen to these tracks they put me in a good place, a place where I know everything will be okay.
The opening track, Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1 is amazing. Starting with the commanding lyrics ‘Do every stupid thing that makes you feel alive, do every stupid thing to drive the dark away’, it is a tune to the depressed and downtrodden that, no matter how bad things get, no matter how strange you may seem to others, there is only one thing to remember, STAY ALIVE.
Cry for Judas is an incredibly powerful song about the pain and shame everyone carries with them for something they did or didn’t do, but eventually we all find a way past those pains and shames whether it is on our own or with someone else.
Counterfeit Florida Plate
This is just a strange and fun song. Not sure what it means, but it is pleasantly insane and I like it.
Ok, Where do I get it?
If you like this album, they have quite a few more to try out. Trust me, they are pretty amazing.
Late to the Game 4/30/19
Thanks for reading, If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and also check out some retro tv goodness with the ongoing series Retro TV Reviews here. You can also find a few of my other Music Reviews Here.
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