The Mountain Goats: “Damn These Vampires”
Song of the Day: Thursday April 14th
For years, John Darnielle recorded his songs onto a busted Panasonic boombox under the name of “the Mountain Goats,” but the last decade has seen a change in philosophy. The Mountain Goats have become a full-fledged band, capable of turning Darnielle’s folk songs into energetic fist-pumpers.
The recently-released All Eternals Deck is the third album of the current line-up, and the time spent together truly shows. Darnielle enlisted the help of four different producers to complete the Deck, which he calls an exploration of “the magnetic draw that scary unknown hidden things exert”. While Darnielle’s highly literate stories are the main draw, the words don’t detract from his tight song craft. He’s capable of turning even the most obtuse of subjects into catchy numbers, and the new album finds him touching on everything from the African birthplace of mankind to the careers of Charles Bronson and Liza Minelli.
“Damn These Vampires” is a case-in-point. Darnielle seems to be wanting to get in on the recent vampire phenomenon (see: True Blood, Twilight, et al). As with a number of Darnielle’s creations, it’s difficult to know how firmly his tongue is lodged in his cheek. After all, it appears that his protagonists are Trans-Am wielding, modern-day cowboys, perpetually on the hunt for “those damn vampires.”