The Mountain Goats Heretic Pride on LP
During their tenure for 4AD, the Mountain Goats recorded six fine albums which firmly established the group as a genuine cult phenomenon and confirmed John Darnielle's status as one of the finest lyricists of his - or any other - generation. And although the first of those albums - Tallahassee - was a song-cycle about an entirely fictional relationship, subsequent records saw Darnielle slowly but surely introducing autobiographical elements into his songs. 2005's The Sunset Tree and 2006's Get Lonely were both - in their different ways - naked and personal.
For his fifth album for the label, 2008's Heretic Pride Darnielle once more retreated into his imagination to conjure a suite of songs about mythical creatures, imaginary cults, slasher films and pulp fiction novelists. He also came up with some of the most anthemic, impassioned and downright catchy songs of his career. Tracks like "Sax Rohmer," "Autoclave" and "Lovecraft In Brooklyn" joined a long line of joyous Mountain Goats shouters and soon became concert fan favorites.
Heretic Pride was produced by Scott Solter and John Vanderslice, and they also contributed some additional percussion (Solter) and some synth (Vanderslice). Musicians include old associates like Peter Hughes (bass) and Franklin Bruno (piano); Jon Wurster (Superchunk) provides drums, and the incredible Erik Friedlander plays cello. Annie Clark (St Vincent) contributes some guitar and backing vocals, and, in a development which amazed the faithful, Rachel Ware Zooi and Sarah Arslanian - aka The Bright Mountain Choir - added vocal harmonies to a Mountain Goats album for the first time since 1996.