If you haven't heard of The Mountain Goats you are missing out. They are a California indie and folk rock band who have been around since 1991. In my opinon they produce the finest lyrics I have ever heard, they are not just about music but about stories and poetry.
The main member of the band is John Darnielle, he regularly works with Peter Hughes on bass and Jon Wurster on drums.
Over the years The Mountain Goats have collaborated with numerous different people and acts which has helped to create the unique sound that they are known for.
This album was released in 2000 and is the ninth studio album released by The Mountain Goats. It amazes me that they have released a total of seventeen albums and each one sounds as fresh as the first.
The Coroner's Gambit consists of sixteen songs, most of which mainly focus on Darnielle working his magic on the acoustic guitar.
The first song of this album "Jaipur" starts with an old 1930's sounding record (a song by Bessie Smith I think), this sound doesn't last long and soon turns out into Darnielle's fantastic guitar work and singing about Jaipur in India. This song is intense but still holds itself well. Great lyrics here and heavy guitar work.
"Elijah" uses more string sounds, violin if I am not mistaken. Darnielle's voice is a lot more gentle in this song. It is softer and I feel that it has deep emotion within it.
The title song of this album starts off a lot faster than the others. Opening with the line "death came calling today" you would perhaps expect this song to be a lot more morbid than it is, but it is quite an upbeat song.
My favourite song of this album is "Horseradish Road" it has, in some ways, a Spanish feel to it. Darnielle's voice here is almost just speaking tunefully but it works so well, and I think this is a truely enjoyable song.
Of course there are other songs on the album, all of them are deep and thoughtful. All of them contain Darnielle's fantastically unique voice. I have never heard anyone sing like him before.
A lot of the songs of the album have an unusual sound not usually heard on an album. It sounds as if they are being played directly into the room. As if Darnielle was sitting in the corner on his guitar singing right to me. Definitely a more intimate a personal feel to this album.
I am definitely recommending this album to you. The Mountain Goats are really special. I am not sure whether this is their best album but I haven't come across any of their albums which is weak so this is as good a place as any if you want to break into the unique sound of Darnielle and The Mountain Goats.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
3 Trick Mirror
4 Island Garden Song
5 Coroner's Gambit
7 Scotch Grove
8 Horseradish Road
9 Family Happiness
11 Bluejays And Cardinals
12 Shadow Song
13 There Will Be No Divorce
14 Insurance Fraud #2
15 Alphonse Mambo
16 We Were Patriots