John Darnielle, Peter Huges and Jon Wurster, AKA The Mountain Goats are back, with their 13th album All Eternals Deck. Two years have passed since the release of The Life of The World To Come and even though the sound has not changed much, once Darnielle’s distinctive voice and lyrics kick in you know you are listening to another top-notch Mountain Goats record.
The songs on All Eternals Deck feature the now familiar dark, twisting narrative that John Darnielle has made a career from writing and, although this album will not disappoint fans, it isn’t the best jumping in point for new listeners. Songs like, ‘For Charles Bronson’, ‘Damn These Vampires’ and ‘Never Quite Free’ sound similar to Darnielle’s work in The Extra Lens and are undoubted album highlights. As with other albums by The Mountain Goats there is always more to discover in the songs on repeated listening, new lines you didn’t hear before suddenly jump out at you and totally change your perspective.
The last track on the album ‘Lisa Forever Minnelli’ is possibly one of Darnielle’s best, in the same league as Tallahassee‘s ‘No Children’ or ‘This Year’ from 2005’s The Sunset Tree. After thirteen albums, creating new and interesting material should be a challenge for any artist (I mean, come on, The Beatles only recorded twelve!), but the amount of lyrics that John Darnielle appears to be capable of writing is staggering. Especially considering that the quality of his poetry (and it is unmistakably poetic at times) is twice if not thrice as impressive as that of so many other revered singer-songwriters.
All Eternals Deck does sound pretty much like any other Mountain Goats record but in a good way; due to the reason that all their other records sound just as good. The Mountain Goats are all about creating clever lyricism which can be both sinisterly unnerving and terribly moving all at the same time. John Darnielle’s writing on All Eternals Deck is as good, if not better, as it has ever been.
Released on 4th April 2011 courtesy of Tomlab Records.