April 24, 2009

"But No One's Ever Going to Come, and No One Will Even Know"

The Mountain Goats & John Vanderslice - Moon Colony Bloodbath
My Thoughts: Love More (<3)+

There are few albums that I've started writing the review of just as I hear it for the first time, but this is certainly one of them. As of this word, the 4th song (of 7) is starting, and I'm almost entirely blown away.

A little history: John Darnielle and John Vanderslice are old friends, and while back they wanted to give the world a little teaser and tell us they were going to come out with a concept album about the terrors of living on a moon base or something to that effect. I honestly thought it was just a little thing that the Johns had toyed around with, but I, for the most part, did not expect to see much more of it (especially when he was releasing albums with people like Kaki King [which was actually pretty freakin awesome]). They even gave us this track:

The Comedians - Surrounded

Now, I can see where a normal person would start getting excited. I, however, am a fan of the Prodigy (or, at the very least, I was at one point), and when a track is released, I know that all that means is a track has been released, not that there is an album on the verge of being released.

Well holy hellcats John Vanderslice came out and performed this song, along with another (Columns Pillars Steps) from this supposed album, live just a little bit ago. You'll note even though I was listening to the two perform songs together I was still a little bit skeptical (heck, I was still going off of their originally stated side project name "The Comedians").

Now, listening to the tracks, I'm in a state of disbelief. I've, at this point, given myself some time to really listen to the album, and I have to say, I'm completely blown away.

What you might have come to expect from these Johns is probably what you should expect on this record: acoustic guitars and soothing vocals, with light piano, organ, harmonica, glockenspiel, etc. in the background to set the mood. These, and what this guys would like to call "absolutely killer" lyrics, are things that we have grown accustomed to when it comes to these Johns, which, when you think about it, is not really a problem. The cryptic story that's woven throughout the album is one I've yet to fully grasp, but, again, this is something I've come to expect when listening to songs that have either of these Johns attached to it: deeply engaging, troubling, and cryptic lyrics. I feel I should mention Colorado, and Denver, is brought up multiple times throughout the album, but I'm hoping this hasn't swayed my opinion very much.

This album is not a revolution. This is what happens when two men who know how to write songs better than just about anyone else out there get together and write a few together. That, as it should be, is more than enough.

The Mountain Goats & John Vanderslice - Emerging


Maggie said...

I have only heard the song posted at the end of this post and I have goosebumps already. Must. Get. More.

Maggie said...

Also, it's completely impossible to get. GOD DAMNIT.