The Mountain Goats are getting into knives

Haley Soares, Senior Staff Reporter

getting into knives album cover
On Oct. 23, The Mountain Goats released their newest album, “Getting into Knives”.

On Friday, Oct. 23, indie-folk-rock band The Mountain Goats released their 19th studio album, “Getting Into Knives,” a title which might resonate with some of our newfound quarantine fueled hobbies.

This being their second album released in 2020, frontman John Darnielle does not appear to be letting the coronavirus get in the way of his passions. Darnielle recorded their March 2020 album, “Songs for Pierre Chuvin,” alone on a boombox, tapping into the rough, fast-pased production style of earlier Mountain Goats albums.

Darnielle and the rest of the band recorded “Getting Into Knives” in just a week at Sam Phillips Recording in Memphis, Tennessee. Die-hard Mountain Goats fans might be displeased with the studio sound, opting for that sweet rugged sound of Darnielle flying solo on a boombox, but Darnielle’s lyrical genius still undoubtedly shines through on this album.

The album opens on a high note, the first four songs sucking the listener in with their infectious energy. Opening track “Corsican Mastiff Stride” prompted a head-nodding jaunt to campus the morning after its release, which carried through the next few songs.

Track three, “Picture of My Dress,” is an undeniable highlight of the album. It taps into that classic Mountain Goats storytelling method of songwriting, inspired by the thought of a divorcee driving across the country with her wedding dress in tow. Darnielle somehow manages to turn New Mexico gas stations and excess Burger King mayonnaise into a moving piece of art, proving his lyrical genius once again.

Highly respected American organist Charles Hodges makes an appearance on “As Many Candles as Possible,” resulting in a song that makes every last cell of my being want to get up and dance. The album then takes quite an abrupt turn for a more mellow sound, but in a refreshing way after such an energetic opening set of songs. “The Last Place I Saw You Alive,” as the title may suggest, is by all accounts the most melancholic tune on the album, but it is hard to sulk when the sweet sounds of a saxophone are punctuating the lyrics.

While the album dips in energy levels towards the middle, the 10th track, “Rat Queen,” brings back the upbeat energy witnessed earlier. This sonic palette refresher drives the album into its final leg, featuring title track “Getting Into Knives” as the conclusion of this Mountain Goats release.

The album is now available across all of your favorite streaming platforms, as well as on CD, cassette and vinyl. Listen here.

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