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Album Review: the Mountain Goats - 'Bleed Out'

Updated: May 3, 2023

The Mountain Goats are back with their 21st album, Bleed Out! The album is almost like a soundtrack to movies conceived by band leader John Darnielle. Much of the inspiration for the album came from cinema and it clearly shows. Each track feels as if perfectly scores some cinematic accompaniment that isn't missed per se, but that you understand as the listener. It even comes complete with it's own montage thanks to the aptly titled "Training Montage".

Band leader John Darnielle stated that he came up with inspiration for the songs from samples of songs that he created while watching films. Through a press release Darnielle said: “‘Oh, where’s this sample from?’ It’s from whatever movie I was watching while I was sitting around on the couch with a guitar. I watch a movie, somebody’d say something that I like the sound of and I’ll write that phrase down. And then I would pause the VHS, write the song, record the song on a boombox, and go back to watching my movie."

The album goes beyond just being cinematic in it's musical composition. It's also cinematic in it's lyricism. Darnielle wrote tracks about plotting revenge, exacting revenge, and what comes after. It's an album that is definitely worth sitting down and digesting in multiple takes as it offers a lot. The high point for me came on "Hostages" an absolutely brilliant track that even though I didn't know the words, I wanted to sing along to. This is another great entry into the already decorated career of the Mountain Goats.

Rating - 4/5

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