Electricity & Lust

Mountain Goats Obsessions

Posted in Music by Sam Unsted on October 14, 2008

Just a quick post but I thought I should share the ridiculous infatuation I have nurtured into bloom for ‘Sax Rohmer #1’ by Mountain Goats from their Heretic Pride record. Darnielle basically sings about some sort of war/peace gathering taking place at a harbour somewhere but, as with many Mountain Goats songs, the thing I’ve latched on to is the chorus. I honestly think John Darnielle must be among the best chorus writers in the business. There are three songs on their masterpiece, The Sunset Tree, which, despite the tone of the record being resolutely depressing, are rousing and beautiful and brilliant in ways only truly great songwriters can achieve. The best of the lot, ‘This Year’, is ostensibly about Darnielle stealing his father’s car and joyriding for a day, knowing it will mean hell to pay when he returns. Despite that underlying sadness, Darnielle has a gift for inspiring adrenaline-rush moments of romanticism meaning you are taken on the car ride, experiencing all the free abandon Darnielle feels in his moment of freedom.

‘Sax Rohmer #1’ is a prime example of chorus-writing skill, a surging, beating-heart chant that I find completely thrilling. It’s going to be among my favourite tracks of the year.

Here’s the video. Enjoy and let the obsession take over.

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One Response

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  1. Zach said, on October 15, 2008 at 12:36 am

    lovely post, although the song is called “sax rohmer #1”


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