Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blast from the past

So, earlier this year, The Mountain Goats released "All Eternals Deck" which continued their "full band" course. And, like all recent Goats albums, it had some perfect songwriting moments with a bit of filler and felt a tad over-produced (God, that goofy choir in "High Hawk Season" kills my boner so hard). When this album was released, the first XXX number of people to pre-order it from Merge received a cassette of demos and b-sides. I pre-ordered the album the SECOND I read that, but somehow still missed out on the tape. So, considering that they don't want to make money off this tape, I felt no qualms in downloading it. (Which you can do right here). I hate to shit on an artist's vision, and clearly John Darnielle is choosing to release his new albums with the studio polish/full band, but I prefer the raw, intimite honesty of these demos. The track above, "Never Quite Free," is a beautiful anthem to surviving hardship/tragedy/abuse, with this hopeful streak a mile wide that makes me a little misty. And when you add the full band it just kind of feels closer to a powerballad than I'm comfortable with. Thankfully, I can hear the original versions now.


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