Having started life in the early 90s as a scrappy lo-fi solo act, The Mountain Goats went on to achieve solid success with an indie folk formula that remained largely unchanged for dozens of records. However, their latest album, released in May this year, saw the band eschew guitars entirely in favour of Fender Rhodes and a laidback vibe that often teeters on the brink of lounge music. It’s also a concept album about goths.
Singer John Darnielle has lost none of his lyrical bite in these new songs, spinning compelling narratives out of brief brushstrokes and a canny attention to detail. As always he runs a thread of humour through the material, even when alluding to ambitions and subcultures crushed by the banal reality of everydayness. Even if you’re not a fan of The Sisters Of Mercy, there’s no escaping the pathos of songs like ‘Andrew Eldritch Is Moving Back To Leeds’.
This Brighton date is part of a huge European and US tour. We suspect the band’s set will pack in plenty of old favourites alongside highlights from the newer, and frankly stranger, collection of songs.
The Haunt, Thursday 12th October 2017
Tickets available from Melting Vinyl