The Mountain Goats
All Eternals Deck
The Mountain Goats are mainly a factor of one—John Darnielle—the mad scientist (a real-life former psych nurse) behind a seemingly endless supply of darkly lit acoustic indie folk (with some 14+ recorded albums to choose from). Darnielle’s wordy, robotically enunciated story-songs are sung in an oddly everygeek, slightly nasal voice—certainly more tuneful than grand wordmaster Dylan, but by no means easy listening. On his latest group of twisted tales, All Eternals Deck, Darnielle rocks between dainty ballads, expertly buttered up with lush string arrangements (“Age of Kings” and “Outer Scorpion Squadron”) and hardcore lite/acoust-o-punk (“Estate Sale Sign” and “Prowl Great Cain”). And 11 songs into this diverse mix, as if you didn’t know what the track was called by reading it off the sick blue fluorescent lighted screen of your iPod, Darnielle announces, as if playing for you live: “This song is called [pauses]…’For Charles Bronson.’” Death Wish, anybody?