John Darnielle, the main brains behind The Mountain Goats, has been doing his thing for awhile now. 1991, to be precise. His expertise definitely shows on his latest release All Eternals Deck (named after an apocryphal tarot card set), with Peter Hughes on bass and Jon Wurster (Superchunk) on drums. An ode to all that is “hidden” in life, the newest album is a thick collection of beautiful poetry, strong musicianship and true grit.
Darnielle has always had a way with words — in regards to The Life of the World to Come (2009), GQ Magazine said of the lead man “Darnielle’s not just one of the greatest songwriters working today, he’s probably one of the greatest working writers.” His singing voice leaves a lot to be desired (think an undisciplined Colin Maloy), and some songs are a little too nice, but the heavy ones prove too compelling to turn away from. Rife with solid rhythms, mature song structures and exquisite quality, The Goats visited four different producers (including Brandon Eggleston) from Brooklyn to Florida in order to create the final product; Darnielle says “We wanted to see how disparate seasons and moods and locations and producers would play out in the songs.” Awash with folk protest, punk angst and cerebral storytelling, All Eternals Deck is an epic that will haunt you with the impression it could very well be the crux of Darnielle’s career.