CD Review – The Mountain Goats: All Eternals Deck
John Darnielle is one of the best dudes to follow on Twitter. He’s witty, concise, and deadly earnest, almost all the time. Even his sarcasm is totally sincere. The reasons to follow Darnielle are also the qualities that were on display when the Mountain Goats played “Birth of Serpents” on Late Night with David Letterman last month. After performing the bright and breezy tune, Darnielle tweeted that “Any artist who is blase about being on TV, step aside and give us your space, because to us it is really, really, hurt-our-faces-smiling fun”. You can hear this enthusiasm all over All Eternals Deck – while its production is kind of flat, the album nevertheless sounds like the acclaimed folk-rock band are enjoying themselves. “Estate Sale Sign” cribs from the Violent Femmes’ nervy playbook, and tracks like mid-album highlight “Beautiful Gas Mask” are full of little performance tricks, like drummer Jon Wurster’s occasional hi-hat swish, that show a band willing to have some fun with their performance. And, of course, Darnielle’s lyrics are spectacular. “Anyone here mentions ‘Hotel California’ dies before the first line clears his lips”? Words to live by.