The Mountain Goats – Heretic Pride
Acquired: Love Garden, New, 2008
This is a collection of songs about outcasts and outsiders, whether they be authors, heretics, young parents, cultists, spurned lovers, monsters, reggae singers or fictional serial killers. Apparently, some magazine said there was no overarching theme, and I'm wondering if they even listened to the album. Like Tallahassee, I can easily imagine it fitting in another medium. It's basically a series of short films in varying genres but with an overarching theme of heretics, whether they be the standard, satanic type or, as I mentioned before, mere outcasts shunned by the rest of society. Coming after Get Lonely, maybe John Darnielle's weakest effort, Heretic Pride was an excellent return to form. The video for “Sax Rohmer #1” was one of the best I saw all last year, and the song was on my best songs of the year list, tied with the title track. It's an album though, despite each song being able to stand on its own. It flows smoothly and only really hits a dead patch around the middle of side 2, but picks up around “How to Embrace a Swamp Creature” and triumphantly finishes with the epic “Michael Myers Resplendent,” told from the perspective of the villain in the Halloween movies. It's a great listen, and one that's always pleasant to put on when I”m in the right mood...which is kind of depressed and feeling lonely (surprisingly, Get Lonely just makes me feel even lonelier). Here I have some compatriots.