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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.


MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Isopanisad Radio Hour (Yoyo) 12" 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Mountain Goats fans already familiar with John Darnielle's signature combination of smart, stark vocals with intensely strummed guitar and angular melodies will find this record does not disappoint. It is a collection of 6 songs, softer and more gentle than other Mountain Goats song cycles but no less emotional or intense for its rounded edges. With Lalitree Darnielle guesting on banjo!
This is the second in a reported series of three 12" releases by The Mountain Goats on Yoyo Recordings. Vinyl only. Side B is an etching by Nikki McClure. This is mainly available thru Yoyo mailorder, but we're happy to be carrying several copies.

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Letter From Belgium (4AD) 7" 3.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Well well well, here's the new single from Mountain Goats' latest full length treasure We Shall All Be Healed. Yes, "Letter From Belgium" is its title and for those keepin' track, it is the fourth song on the album. This rollicking number, definitely an album highlight, is joined by the comparatively spartan, low key "Nova Scotia". The cd version of this ep also includes a rousing singalong called "Attention All Pickpockets". Both songs were recorded in France with a little help from some "cheap but delicious red wine" (according to the liner notes). Yum, red wine! Yay, John Darnielle!
MPEG Stream: "Nova Scotia"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Letter From Belgium (4AD) cd single 3.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Well well well, here's the new single from Mountain Goats' latest full length treasure We Shall All Be Healed. Yes, "Letter From Belgium" is its title and for those keepin' track, it is the fourth song on the album. This rollicking number, definitely an album highlight, is joined by the comparatively spartan, low key "Nova Scotia" and the cd version of this EP also includes a rousing singalong called "Attention All Pickpockets". Both songs were recorded in France with a little help from some "cheap but delicious red wine" (according to the liner notes). Yum, red wine! Yay, John Darnielle!
MPEG Stream: "Nova Scotia"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Life Of The World To Come (4AD) cd 13.98
Sometimes it really is strange to contrast the Mountain Goats of today with the Mountain Goats of old. It's not really that strange for bands to develop and grow, to explore and expand their sonic palette, but for YEARS, the Mountain Goats WAS John Darnielle, a super aggressively strummed acoustic guitar, and his nasally whine, belted out at full volume, but it wasn't that simple, the songs, as bare bones as they may have appeared on the surface, were incredible, catchy and deep, melodic and super rocking (for an acoustic guitars), and the lyrics, by turns clever and bitter and funny and literate, all still totally punk rock, recorded on boomboxes, released on lo-fi mainstay Shrimper. Never in a million years would we have expected Darnielle and his Mountain Goats to end up on 4AD, nor would we have imagined the sound of the Mountain Goats could change so dramatically. But it did, and we've made our peace with it, those lo-fi days are long gone, which in some ways, makes us a little sad, but we would never have glimpsed this other side of Darnielle, which would have been a damn shame, as he's proven himself to be quite a songwriter and arranger, the NEW Mountain Goats, a whole new proposition, still with brief glimpses of the MG's of old, but for the most part, a proper band, sometimes rocking, other times brooding, always a little dark, the lyrics still awesome, so much so you sometimes wonder how Darnielle became a musician and not a writer, but the combination of super literate lyrics and more traditional rock arrangements still hits the spot.
Life Of The World To Come is a dark record, even by MG's standards, every track named for a verse of the Bible, although the lyrical content is not explicitly connected to said verses, at least not on the surface. The sound is lovely, lush and moody and dark and a bit mournful, the opening track is hushed and intimate, Darnielle's vocals restrained, the guitars muted, muffled percussion, everything murky and mysterious. The second track is much more 'rocking', with Darnielle slipping into his old vocal style, which is a good match for the chugging riffs, and pounding drums.
The record explores lots of stylistic territory, but the finest moments (much of the record in fact) find Darnielle abandoning the guitar for piano, the dark chords ominous and lush, backed by strings sometimes, getting a little chamber, which sounds fantastic, it's deeply moving, haunting and emotional. A couple of the more rocking numbers are a bit lite, and sound a tad mainstream, but invariably, they lead right back to something much darker, and ominously lovely.
Available both on cd and super deluxe double black vinyl. There were some purple copies, but those colored vinyl versions are long gone... plus black vinyl does sound better anyway!
MPEG Stream: "1 Samuel 15:23"
MPEG Stream: "Psalms 40:2"
MPEG Stream: "Genesis 3:23"
MPEG Stream: "Ezekiel 7 And The Permanent Efficacy Of Grace"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Life Of The World To Come (black vinyl) (4AD) 2lp 17.98
Purple vinyl all gone... but we still do have black vinyl of this!
Sometimes it really is strange to contrast the Mountain Goats of today with the Mountain Goats of old. It's not really that strange for bands to develop and grow, to explore and expand their sonic palette, but for YEARS, the Mountain Goats WAS John Darnielle, a super aggressively strummed acoustic guitar, and his nasally whine, belted out at full volume, but it wasn't that simple, the songs, as bare bones as they may have appeared on the surface, were incredible, catchy and deep, melodic and super rocking (for an acoustic guitars), and the lyrics, by turns clever and bitter and funny and literate, all still totally punk rock, recorded on boomboxes, released on lo-fi mainstay Shrimper. Never in a million years would we have expected Darnielle and his Mountain Goats to end up on 4AD, nor would we have imagined the sound of the Mountain Goats could change so dramatically. But it did, and we've made our peace with it, those lo-fi days are long gone, which in some ways, makes us a little sad, but we would never have glimpsed this other side of Darnielle, which would have been a damn shame, as he's proven himself to be quite a songwriter and arranger, the NEW Mountain Goats, a whole new proposition, still with brief glimpses of the MG's of old, but for the most part, a proper band, sometimes rocking, other times brooding, always a little dark, the lyrics still awesome, so much so you sometimes wonder how Darnielle became a musician and not a writer, but the combination of super literate lyrics and more traditional rock arrangements still hits the spot.
Life Of The World To Come is a dark record, even by MG's standards, every track named for a verse of the Bible, although the lyrical content is not explicitly connected to said verses, at least not on the surface. The sound is lovely, lush and moody and dark and a bit mournful, the opening track is hushed and intimate, Darnielle's vocals restrained, the guitars muted, muffled percussion, everything murky and mysterious. The second track is much more 'rocking', with Darnielle slipping into his old vocal style, which is a good match for the chugging riffs, and pounding drums.
The record explores lots of stylistic territory, but the finest moments (much of the record in fact) find Darnielle abandoning the guitar for piano, the dark chords ominous and lush, backed by strings sometimes, getting a little chamber, which sounds fantastic, it's deeply moving, haunting and emotional. A couple of the more rocking numbers are a bit lite, and sound a tad mainstream, but invariably, they lead right back to something much darker, and ominously lovely.
Available both on cd and super deluxe double black vinyl. There were some purple copies, but those colored vinyl versions are long gone... plus black vinyl does sound better anyway!
MPEG Stream: "1 Samuel 15:23"
MPEG Stream: "Psalms 40:2"
MPEG Stream: "Genesis 3:23"
MPEG Stream: "Ezekiel 7 And The Permanent Efficacy Of Grace"

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Nine Black Poppies (Emperor Jones) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Despite John Darnielle's propensity for calling cds "those miserable silver things", this new album is available on disc only. MG this time is John and Rachel (playing bass and harmonizing). I find this combination somewhat diluted, but if he's happy then perhaps we should all be happy for him. The last song features the gloriously sexy Allen Callaci of Refrigerator on phoned-in vocals (a là Daniel Johnston and Yo La Tengo on the famed "Speeding Motorcycle" recording) to the radio station in Chicago where the rest of MG played along.

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Nothing For Juice (3 Beads of Sweat) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Aloha Mountain Goats fans! Some of your oldest and dearest faves have finally been reissued on cd and lp! This one, their first studio recorded album Nothing For Juice (originally released back in 1996), has been out of print for years, so it's definitely time to do a little celebratory hollerin' from the hilltops. Now, we all know that Mr. Darnielle is one darn tireless artist and this jam-packed early album bears the bountiful fruits of his and his singing partner in crime Rachel Ware's labors. They do a couple covers (including a super hushed one of Robert Johnson's "Hellhound on My Trail"!) revisits a older MG fave "Alpha Double Negative: Going to Catalina" and even fits in a trio of collaborations he did with Graeme Jefferies (of The Cakekitchen and This Kind Of Punishment). Almost without exception, each Mountain Goats song is imbued with a comforting old friend presence, well-worn and dearly heartfelt. And we welcome these ones back with open arms and ears!
MPEG Stream: "Hellhound On My Trail"
MPEG Stream: "Going To Scotland"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Palmcorder Yajna (4AD) cd ep 3.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Yes, we've said it before, but since Mountain Goats have settled into their new home on the 4AD label, it seems they've certainly made the most of the access to greater recording resources. Everything sounds so crisp without sacrificing any of the Goats' trademark raw immediacy. This 3-song ep is no exception, three fine gems that are somewhat more barebones than the songs on their latest full length (Tallahassee - their debut on 4AD), but are unmistakably from the empassioned songwriting pen of Mr. John Darnielle. It stirs us to say, "more, please!" And y'know what? There has indeed been a new album completed and ready for release in the new year. Hurrah!
MPEG Stream: "Butter Teeth"

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Protein Source of the Future... Now! (Ajax) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Long awaited singles and rarities comp that includes material originally heard on: Yam, the King of Crops tape, Chile de Arbol 7", Philyra 7", Why You All So Thief? split 7", and the following compilations: Our Salvation is in Hand, The Long Secret, and Abridged Perversion.

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Sweden (Shrimper) cd 14.98
Simply stated, if you're looking for an essential Mountain Goats album, 1995's Sweden is one of the first that you should check out! Back in those days John Darnielle was a staunch lo-fi artist (unlike his more recent, considerably more grandly productions for 4AD), but that didn't prevent his fantastic, heartbaring songwriting from shining through!
MPEG Stream: "Downtown Seoul"
MPEG Stream: "Flashing Lights"

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Sweden (Shrimper) lp 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Better than Nine Black Poppies. Kind of essential.

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Tallahassee (4AD) cd 14.98
Same ol' dependable John Darnielle making some of the most witty yet heartfelt singer songwriter material to tickle our fancy here at AQ. While he has forged a completely unique style all his own that is consistently evident here, this album is also a slight departure of sorts. It's on respected British label 4AD which means Vaughan Oliver (that M Oliver has designed one of his album covers sends Darnielle into paroxysms of ecstasy). Being on 4AD also afforded John the opportunity to go to England to record the album with Tony Doogan, who has worked with Belle & Sebastian. Thus the album has a more produced feel, but that's not bad. It's simply a long way from Darnielle's singing into a boombox days. There are unusual, for Mountain Goats, touches such as shimmering cymbals and (what sound like) occasional doubletracked vocals. We weren't disappointed, however, and neither will you be. Very nice.
RealAudio clip: "First Few Desperate Hours"
RealAudio clip: "See America Right"

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE The Coroner's Gambit (Absolutely Kosher) cd 12.98
Wonderful new album from John Darnielle who is otherwise known as The Mountain Goats. John's made several albums, all of which are wonderful, and this may be one of his strongest yet. If you've never heard him before, know that he's a singer songwriter with a iconoclastic style imitated by some but exceeded by none: urgent acoustic guitar strumming coupled with hook-filled melodies and a stark literary way of phrasing his singular lyrics. (GREAT lyrics like "Death came calling today / Heard the gentle grace of his cadences / Couldn't say no") Gentle-hearted yet pointedly intense. Note: the limited vinyl version comes in a custom-printed paper bag as an extra, outer sleeve. Very, very nice.
RealAudio clip: "Jaipur"
RealAudio clip: "The Coroner's Gambit"

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE The Coroner's Gambit (Absolutely Kosher) lp 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Wonderful new album from John Darnielle who is otherwise known as The Mountain Goats. John's made several albums, all of which are wonderful, and this may be one of his strongest yet. If you've never heard him before, know that he's a singer songwriter with a iconoclastic style imitated by some but exceeded by none: urgent acoustic guitar strumming coupled with hook-filled melodies and a stark literary way of phrasing his singular lyrics. (GREAT lyrics like "Death came calling today / Heard the gentle grace of his cadences / Couldn't say no") Gentle-hearted yet pointedly intense. Note: the limited vinyl version comes in a custom-printed paper bag as an extra, outer sleeve. Very, very nice.

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE The Hound Chronicles & Hot Garden Stomp (Shrimper) 2cd 15.98
A long time ago we discovered this little label based out of Upland, California, and became a bit obsessed by all the cool weird bands whose records they released. Via Shrimper we discovered Amps For Christ, Refrigerator, Bugskull, Simon Joyner, Wckr Spgt, Nothing Painted Blue, Diskothi-Q and tons more. But most notably, was a group called The Mountain Goats, which was in fact not a group, just a guy and his acoustic guitar, which sounded pretty unremarkable, until we heard John Darnielle, and his strangely idiosyncratic songsmithery, urgently, almost violently strummed guitar and a high keening voice belting out smart, funny, sad, heartbreaking, hyperliterate lyrics, sometimes almost shouting, the result was pretty fantastic, and the Mountain Goats became one of our favorite Shrimper 'bands'. Back then we never would have imagined that the Mountain Goats would become a real band, record in a real studio, tour for thousands of people, play on the Colbert Report, and be HUGE, back then it was just a guy and his guitar, and it was the age of tape trading and zines, and it sounded like Darnielle's music was being played just for us, and his strange tales of love and loss and traveling TO places (a series of songs which continues today), they spoke to something in all of us, and it seemed remarkable that this nerdy guy with a guitar and a boombox, was responsible for such amazing, moving, emotionally complicated music, that now twenty years on still sounds so good.
Recent converts to the Mountain Goats might be shocked and how raw and primitive these recordings are, recorded live in many cases, songs followed by a smattering of applause, in lots of recordings you can hear a TV in the other room, or the whir of the recording, female background vocals pop up here and there, as do shitty Casio beats, but really, it's all about the voice, and the songs, which are incredible.
This double disc gathers up two of the earliest MG tapes, The Hound Chronicles from 1992, and Hot Garden Stomp from 1993, we presume they've been remastered, but really, it hardly matters, the tape hiss, and weird glitches, and all the other random sonic detritus are as much a part of the sound as the music is. For some us, this is an awesome nostalgic sonic time capsule, for others it will be a discovery, maybe even a revelation, but it's definitely cool to hear where it all began, and an argument could be made, that these are the most pure Mountain Goats recordings there are. Includes new liner notes from John Darnielle as well as some reproduced ephemera from the time.
MPEG Stream: "The Garden Song"
MPEG Stream: "Going To Wisconsin"
MPEG Stream: "Spilling Toward Alpha"
MPEG Stream: "Alpha Negative"
MPEG Stream: "The Torch Song"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE The Life Of The World To Come (4AD) dvd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE The Sunset Tree (4AD) cd 13.98
Dear Mr. John Darnielle, thank you for this album of heartcrushing beauty! The Sunset Tree has perhaps one of his most frank and deeply personal narrative threads to date, focusing on the trauma of the childhood abuse he suffered at the hand of his stepfather (who passed away last year and to whom this album is dedicated). Nearly all lyrical metaphors and disguises stripped away, this is Darnielle at his most direct yet no less poetic. On the stunning, achingly precise ninth song "Hast Thou Considered The Tetrapod" he sings about his fears of waking the patriarch "sleeping off [his] demons" and hiding out in his bedroom, seeking some temporary escape to "rise above [his] station" by way of his imagination. Although the arrangements on this 13-song album are some of his most pared down of his 4AD releases, there is an increasing prominence of strings (courtesy of cellist Erik Friedlander) underlying the core vocals, piano and guitar which add looming shadows to the already stormy proceedings. As is the case with most every Mountain Goats album, when the final notes fade at the album's close ("Pale Green Things") you're left with a heavy ache in your chest, and as you muster a deep sigh, you reach over and press 'play' once more. Not an easy listen, but definitely an immensely moving and empowering one. Very recommended!
Please note: Darnielle recorded this cd version of The Sunset Tree album at Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati, CA, and he also recorded an 11-song vinyl version called Come Come To The Sunset Tree at his home in North Carolina. There are some differences in song selection and running order, and of course, in the production scale as well. The bare bones intimacy of the latter brings back fond memories of his early recordings. If you're a serious Mountain Goats fan, you'll no doubt need both versions!
MPEG Stream: "Hast Thou Considered The Tetrapod"
MPEG Stream: "Pale Green Things"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE We Shall All Be Healed (4AD) cd 13.98
Another beautiful, deeply moving album from longtime AQ faves Mountain Goats! Sounds like it was a pretty intense recording session -- Mr. John Darnielle along with Franklin Bruno (piano and organ), Peter Hughes (bass), Nora Danielson (violins), Christopher McGuire (drums) holed up in the studio for just ten days! -- resulting in sixteen completed songs, thirteen of which make up We Shall All Be Healed. Whew! By the way, has anyone else noticed that Mr. Darnielle's singing voice is sounding more and more like that of Daniel Bejar (of Destroyer and New Pornographers)? It used to seem the other way around, but perhaps it's simply the works of two kindred spirits drawing closer (although we've heard that Mr. Bejar has taken Destroyer in a radically different direction with his forthcoming album). There's certainly an affinity between the two fellows' songwriting -- poetic, earnest, and at once both starkly observative and richly imaginative. There's so many fine moments on this album, many of which glow even brighter with the pianowork of his Extra Glenns' partner in crime Mr. Bruno. Check out "Home Again Garden Grove" and "The Young Thousands". Seems like Mountain Goats have found a well-suited middle ground between his beloved bare bones early recordings and those that make up their more recent higher-fi 4AD releases. Wonderful! Produced by John Vanderslice (who also has a dandy new album out now!). Very recommended!
MPEG Stream: "The Young Thousands"
MPEG Stream: "Home Again Garden Grove"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE We Shall All Be Healed (4AD) lp 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Another beautiful, deeply moving album from longtime AQ faves Mountain Goats! Sounds like it was a pretty intense recording session -- Mr. John Darnielle along with Franklin Bruno (piano and organ), Peter Hughes (bass), Nora Danielson (violins), Christopher McGuire (drums) holed up in the studio for just ten days! -- resulting in sixteen completed songs, thirteen of which make up We Shall All Be Healed. Whew! By the way, has anyone else noticed that Mr. Darnielle's singing voice is sounding more and more like that of Daniel Bejar (of Destroyer and New Pornographers)? It used to seem the other way around, but perhaps it's simply the works of two kindred spirits drawing closer (although we've heard that Mr. Bejar has taken Destroyer in a radically different direction with his forthcoming album). There's certainly an affinity between the two fellows' songwriting -- poetic, earnest, and at once both starkly observative and richly imaginative. There's so many fine moments on this album, many of which glow even brighter with the pianowork of his Extra Glenns' partner in crime Mr. Bruno. Check out "Home Again Garden Grove" and "The Young Thousands". Seems like Mountain Goats have found a well-suited middle ground between his beloved bare bones early recordings and those that make up their more recent higher-fi 4AD releases. Wonderful! Produced by John Vanderslice (who also has a dandy new album out now!). Very recommended!
MPEG Stream: "The Young Thousands"
MPEG Stream: "Home Again Garden Grove"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Zopilote Machine (3 Beads of Sweat) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Aloha Mountain Goats fans! Some of your oldest and dearest faves have finally been reissued on cd and lp!
Perhaps most notable is the re-release of 1994's Zopilote Machine. It holds particular historical significance in that it marked John Darnielle's first step into the realm of the LP. Yep, up until Zopilote Machine his Mountain Goats music was only available on cassette and 7" singles. Generous and prolific soul that he is, he took full advantage of the 'long' in long-player, packing it with a whopping nineteen of his trademark homespun, storytellin' songs. These intimate lo-fi bedroom-style recordings stand in stark contrast to his recent studio works -- super casual, somewhat muffled and murky with just him singing his heart out and furious strumming his acoustic guitar -- but regardless of how high or low tech he goes, Darnielle never fails to hit your heart's bullseye. Wonderfully genuine and genuinely wonderful.
MPEG Stream: "The Black Ice Cream Song"
MPEG Stream: "Going To Georgia"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Zopilote Machine (3 Beads of Sweat) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Aloha Mountain Goats fans! Some of your oldest and dearest faves have finally been reissued on cd and lp!
Perhaps most notable is the re-release of 1994's Zopilote Machine. It holds particular historical significance in that it marked John Darnielle's first step into the realm of the LP. Yep, up until Zopilote Machine his Mountain Goats music was only available on cassette and 7" singles. Generous and prolific soul that he is, he took full advantage of the 'long' in long-player, packing it with a whopping nineteen of his trademark homespun, storytellin' songs. These intimate lo-fi bedroom-style recordings stand in stark contrast to his recent studio works -- super casual, somewhat muffled and murky with just him singing his heart out and furious strumming his acoustic guitar -- but regardless of how high or low tech he goes, Darnielle never fails to hit your heart's bullseye. Wonderfully genuine and genuinely wonderful.
MPEG Stream: "The Black Ice Cream Song"
MPEG Stream: "Going To Georgia"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE & JOHN VANDERSLICE Moon Colony Bloodbath (self-released) 12" 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Managed to get a handful more of these from the Mountain Goats, good chance these will be the last copies we see, so act fast!!!
Another super limited vinyl only Mountain Goats record, this one a collaboration concept record with SF power popper John Vanderslice. The Mountain Goats (aka John Darnielle) and Vanderslice toured together earlier this year, and took the opportunity to make a record together, but not just any record, a CONCEPT record. And not just any concept record, no, this one tells the story of organ harvesting colonies on the moon, and the employees of said colonies, who spend their non work time living in luxurious seclusion throughout America. Wow.
The record itself isn't like a typical rock opera, it's loosely related to the concept, so it plays just fine simply as a gorgeous pop record, and a gorgeous pop record it is. Lush and well produced, with lots of instruments, guitars and organs and cellos and harmonicas and even handclaps (we know, not actually an instrument)! Darnielle and Vanderslice trade off songs, each writes and sings his own, but both contribute to all of them. Plus the record was produced by Chris Stamey, of pop legends the dB's, he also plays on a bunch of the songs.
Darnielle's instantly recognizable, slightly nasal croon plays nicely with Vanderslice's more traditional power pop vocals, lots of lovely harmonies, woven into the gorgeous instrumentation, plenty of hooks, catchy melodies, moody and melancholy mostly, but with moments of joyous exuberance, fans of both the Mountain Goats and Vanderslice should dig this a lot. We definitely do.
This is super limited, and not a lot of places are selling it. We got a bunch direct from the band, and these are most likely all we'll be able to get. Pressed on good old heavy black wax, and housed in thick full color sleeves. While they last, VERY recommended.

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE & KAKI KING Black Pear Tree (self-released) 12" 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Another awesome, and limited self released lp from Mountain Goats HQ, another collaboration in fact. We listed Moon Colony Bloodbath a while back (and again elsewhere on this list, got a few more copies in!), which found the MGs' John Darnielle teaming up with pop songsmith John Vanderslice, Black Pear Tree pairs Darnielle with folk rocker Kaki King, who we have to admit we had heard very little from before this, but based on her contributions here, we definitely need to hear more.
An ep, but each song here is surprisingly lush and expansive, long long gone are the days of lo-fi boombox recordings, the opening track alone is one of the most beautifully produced songs we've heard from Darnielle, who plays piano, while King vocalizes in a childlike croon, the sound so hushed and the production so intimate you can hear the pedals of the piano being depressed, while all around strange electronics and effects swirl and skitter, but in a way that doesn't at all take away from the song, but instead merely adds texture and mystery.
The rest of the record is a bit More Mountain Goats sounding, Darnielle handling the lion's share of the vocals, but here and there the two harmonize, and King's voice is a nice match for Darnielle's, and then there's some of the guitar playing, King's we presume (since she IS credited with 'greater guitars', where as Darnielle is credited with 'lesser guitars'), dense tangles of minor key rapid fire fingerpicking that smoothly slips into languid drift, or more MG-like heavy strum. And Darnielle demonstrates over and over his always evolving and improving vocals, even slipping into a gorgeous falsetto on one track. And of course the songs are gorgeous, dark, and moody, and subtly catchy, the lyrics simple and intimate, a really lovely record.
We got a whole bunch of these direct from Darnielle, he's heading out on tour, so when we run out of these, it may take a while for us to get more (if we even CAN get more), so as always, best to grab one while you can. Pressed on thick vinyl, and housed in a simple, pretty, printed sleeve.

album cover MOUNTAIN HOME s/t (Language Of Stone) cd 14.98
We meant to list this awhile back, but at the time it seemed we had so many Espers related projects on the list, between Meg Baird's solo record, the Fern Knight record, the last Bonnie Prince Billy ep, and the Valerie Project, that listing the debut release on Espers' new record label, Language of Stone, then might have been unfair to the band Mountain Home. Comprised of Joshua Blatchley and Kristin Sherer, the music of Mountain Home fits into the same narcotic acid folk niche of current bands like Espers, Bright Black Morning Light, and Marissa Nadler, yet leaning on the traditional British folk side of things. They even cover "Nottamun Town". Not the biggest surprise coming from the Espers' camp, but a nice release all the same.
MPEG Stream: "The Sparrow"
MPEG Stream: "Comes, The Winter"

album cover MOUNTAIN MAN Sun Dog (Underwater Peoples) 10" 14.98
For some reason, the name Mountain Man had us imagining some sort of big guy bearded heaviness, a la Tad, big crushing riffs, pounding drums, bellowed vox, but this Mountain Man is actually three ladies, and the sound, is anything but burly and heavy, instead it's lovely and heartfelt, a gorgeous dreamlike Appalachia, a sunshiney country folk. The instrumentation is super minimal, usually just acoustic guitar, cuz it's all about the vocals, which are incredible, lush and lustrous, and emotional, the harmonies incredible, powerful and devotional, evoking classic old time country, Sacred Harp music, the Carter Family, the recordings of Alan Lomax, if it wasn't for the incredible and crystalline production, these songs could be from anywhere, and anytime, the sound most definitely timeless, less a basement show in 2010, and more a rickety porch in rural Alabama in 1950. But somehow equally both.
Totally stunning, and not at all what we were expecting from the kick ass Underwater Peoples label, who in the past have brought us records by Ducktails, Julian Lynch, Real Estate and others...
Pressed on swirled marbled turquoise/blue vinyl!

album cover MOUNTAINEER When The Air Is Bright (Type) cd 15.98
Sigh. This is such the ideal album for drifting along in a rowboat on an ultra calm lake or floating along in a giant hot air balloon across a cloudless blue sky. Even if you don't find yourself in either of those scenarios, German combo Mountaineer may help you find your own sweet and peaceful place.
Their third album When The Air Is Bright is a little folksy, a little bossanova-y. So very nice! Frontman Henning Wandhoff's vocals are low, mellow and smooth. and they're complimented beautifully by Anna Bertermann's backing vocals. The central instrumentation of gently picked and strummed acoustic and electric guitars and understated percussion is occasionally embellished by delicate horn, organ, harmonica and xylophone. This fits perfectly on the Type label alongside rostermates Ryan Teague, Khonnor, Julian Neto and Helios. It'll also fit perfectly in your music library alongside pastel hued day dreamers Jose Gonzalez, Kings Of Convenience and Juana Molina.
MPEG Stream: "A Line For Every Letter"
MPEG Stream: "You Pay No Mind"

album cover MOUNTAINS Air Museum (Thrill Jockey) cd 14.98
Latest disc of pastoral dreamlike synthdrone ambience from this East coast duo, whose past records have been unanimous aQ faves, as this one is fast becoming as well. Every track here is a mini epic of slow building drones and lushly layered textures, the sound rich and full, strings buzzing, synths shimmering, sometimes stretched out for ages, but often blossoming into sun dappled Technicolor bursts of sweet sonic radiance, sparkling and glimmering, just as often wrangled into pulses, and crafted into weirdly sc-fi synthscapes, borrowing a page from the book of all the Carpenter/Goblin worshippers out there, but instead of creating some futuristically retro Euro disco, those pulses are blurred and layered, and turned into something more along the lines of Tangerine Dream, hazy and gauzy and deeply melodic and almost new agey.
Elsewhere the duo wreath their hushed high end drift in thick swaths of hiss and hum, creating Tim Hecker like landscapes of bleary eared ambience, all pixelated and indistinct, a soft focus shimmer, but Mountains add streaks of synths, again making it sound more like classic new age/krautrock than modern experimentation.
The second half of the record is heavy on the pulsing synths, simple lilting melodies, repeated, looped, layered, conjuring up mesmerizing chunks of electronic minimalism, that definitely look to Reich, and Riley, as well as Fripp and Eno, but in the hands of Mountains, at times much noisier, the sound more dense, but that warm glowing melodic sense always shining through. The record closes with a thick swath of warm whirring buzz, tangled melodies beneath think swirls of whir and thrum, crumbling synths, which fade out during the last few seconds, to reveal a guitar, which may very well have been in there all along.
MPEG Stream: "January 17"
MPEG Stream: "Thousand Square"
MPEG Stream: "Newsprint"

album cover MOUNTAINS Air Museum (Thrill Jockey) lp 15.98
Latest disc of pastoral dreamlike synthdrone ambience from this East coast duo, whose past records have been unanimous aQ faves, as this one is fast becoming as well. Every track here is a mini epic of slow building drones and lushly layered textures, the sound rich and full, strings buzzing, synths shimmering, sometimes stretched out for ages, but often blossoming into sun dappled Technicolor bursts of sweet sonic radiance, sparkling and glimmering, just as often wrangled into pulses, and crafted into weirdly sc-fi synthscapes, borrowing a page from the book of all the Carpenter/Goblin worshippers out there, but instead of creating some futuristically retro Euro disco, those pulses are blurred and layered, and turned into something more along the lines of Tangerine Dream, hazy and gauzy and deeply melodic and almost new agey.
Elsewhere the duo wreath their hushed high end drift in thick swaths of hiss and hum, creating Tim Hecker like landscapes of bleary eared ambience, all pixelated and indistinct, a soft focus shimmer, but Mountains add streaks of synths, again making it sound more like classic new age/krautrock than modern experimentation.
The second half of the record is heavy on the pulsing synths, simple lilting melodies, repeated, looped, layered, conjuring up mesmerizing chunks of electronic minimalism, that definitely look to Reich, and Riley, as well as Fripp and Eno, but in the hands of Mountains, at times much noisier, the sound more dense, but that warm glowing melodic sense always shining through. The record closes with a thick swath of warm whirring buzz, tangled melodies beneath think swirls of whir and thrum, crumbling synths, which fade out during the last few seconds, to reveal a guitar, which may very well have been in there all along.
MPEG Stream: "January 17"
MPEG Stream: "Thousand Square"
MPEG Stream: "Newsprint"

album cover MOUNTAINS Centralia (Thrill Jockey) cd 15.98
Latest from this aQ beloved duo, made up of Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, aka Mountains, and once again, they've crafted a supremely dreamlike songsuite, that finds them conjuring up billowing clouds of blurred synth drifts and soft focus drones, weaving all of their disparate sound sources, electronics, synths, cellos, organs and more into something that sounds surprisingly organic, a glimmering, glistening kosmische new age drift. All of Mountains' records are sort of ethereal and blissed out, but this one might be the most pastoral and meditative of the bunch. Mixing a sort of modern minimalism, with classic ragas and drones, Centralia finds the group crafting a sonic analogue to Stars Of The Lid in a way, with Mountains being the light to Stars' darkness. If we were to create a diurnal soundtrack, Mountains would handle sunrise, and would paint the sky and the landscape in warm, glowing colors, until dusk, where they would hand it off to Stars Of The Lid, who would fill the night sky with streaks of black and glimmering fields of starlight, before dawn rolled around again, and Mountains once again took over.
In fact, the sound of Mountains on Centralia is almost like dawn expanded to fill the whole day, and the whole record, a timelapse recording of this music unfurling and blossoming prismatically into a wide open stretch of softly undulating layers, of muted buzzing shimmers, laced with all manner of slow shifting textures and singing strings. A few of the tracks find the duo adding acoustic guitar to the mix, the vibe more psych folky, but still wreathed in swaths of gauze-y thrum. But it's the long tracks here, that truly let us get lost, epic expanses of hazy, blurred ambience, pixelated fuzz spread into a thin patina, all of the sounds glowing from within, on "Propeller", that sound is briefly infused with a dark tension, a sonic shadow that adds some dark and dreamy pathos, before fading into yet another glorious stretch of glistening, glimmering sun dappled shimmer.
MPEG Stream: "Sand"
MPEG Stream: "Identical Ship"
MPEG Stream: "Circular C"

album cover MOUNTAINS Centralia (Thrill Jockey) lp 21.00
Latest from this aQ beloved duo, made up of Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, aka Mountains, and once again, they've crafted a supremely dreamlike songsuite, that finds them conjuring up billowing clouds of blurred synth drifts and soft focus drones, weaving all of their disparate sound sources, electronics, synths, cellos, organs and more into something that sounds surprisingly organic, a glimmering, glistening kosmische new age drift. All of Mountains' records are sort of ethereal and blissed out, but this one might be the most pastoral and meditative of the bunch. Mixing a sort of modern minimalism, with classic ragas and drones, Centralia finds the group crafting a sonic analogue to Stars Of The Lid in a way, with Mountains being the light to Stars' darkness. If we were to create a diurnal soundtrack, Mountains would handle sunrise, and would paint the sky and the landscape in warm, glowing colors, until dusk, where they would hand it off to Stars Of The Lid, who would fill the night sky with streaks of black and glimmering fields of starlight, before dawn rolled around again, and Mountains once again took over.
In fact, the sound of Mountains on Centralia is almost like dawn expanded to fill the whole day, and the whole record, a timelapse recording of this music unfurling and blossoming prismatically into a wide open stretch of softly undulating layers, of muted buzzing shimmers, laced with all manner of slow shifting textures and singing strings. A few of the tracks find the duo adding acoustic guitar to the mix, the vibe more psych folky, but still wreathed in swaths of gauze-y thrum. But it's the long tracks here, that truly let us get lost, epic expanses of hazy, blurred ambience, pixelated fuzz spread into a thin patina, all of the sounds glowing from within, on "Propeller", that sound is briefly infused with a dark tension, a sonic shadow that adds some dark and dreamy pathos, before fading into yet another glorious stretch of glistening, glimmering sun dappled shimmer.
MPEG Stream: "Sand"
MPEG Stream: "Identical Ship"
MPEG Stream: "Circular C"

album cover MOUNTAINS Choral (Thrill Jockey) cd 14.98
Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp are the men behind these Mountains. The two met in Chicago in 1999 and now live in Brooklyn; yet despite their urban living, Mountains long for the great outdoors. The big sky of Montana. The thunderclouds of the Arizona high desert. The forests of upstate New York. In their effortless blur of elliptically strummed acoustic guitars and elegantly sculpted ambience, Mountains celebrate the natural world, as leaves, rain, dirt, and snow all seem to speak through their beautifully monochromatic compositions.
Choral happens to be Mountains third full album and their first for Thrill Jockey. It also stands as their best album to date and even surpasses the almost universally beloved Field Rituals solo album by Holtkamp on Type. The brightly rendered guitar which gilded Holtkamp's solo record features prominently in the mix for Choral, but it has been tempered with gaseous effects and post-shoegazing processes that swaddle the guitar chords with equally rich drones and electrified mist. Melodica, analog synth, piano, hand bells, something that sounds like a hurdy gurdy, even more guitar, and found object scrabbing a la Jewelled Antler make their way through the soft focus blur of the digital treatments, which give evidence for comparisons in equal measure to Fennesz and Cluster. As the shimmering tones of finger-picked guitars trickle out of the slow pulsing drone of the title track, Mountains conjure images of the bright orange sunlight saturating wind-blown leaves at sunset. Halos of light burst around each glistening layer of sound, but there is a bittersweet aura to many of the melodies that slip beyond their transcendent ambience, as if the summer sun they portray in their songs is soon to be lost to the blustery winds of Autumn and the cold nights of Winter. The maudlin atmospheres continue on the insistent acoustic guitar chords of "Telescope," a near perfect bliss-out instrumental, on through the broken-hearted bells and deep tonal flutter of "Melodica."
If there's any justice, this will be universally hailed as one of the best records of 2009. And for vinyl freeks: the lp version of Choral enjoys two additional tracks not found on the cd!
MPEG Stream: "Choral"
MPEG Stream: "Map Table "
MPEG Stream: "Melodica"

album cover MOUNTAINS Choral (Thrill Jockey) 2lp 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp are the men behind these Mountains. The two met in Chicago in 1999 and now live in Brooklyn; yet despite their urban living, Mountains long for the great outdoors. The big sky of Montana. The thunderclouds of the Arizona high desert. The forests of upstate New York. In their effortless blur of elliptically strummed acoustic guitars and elegantly sculpted ambience, Mountains celebrate the natural world, as leaves, rain, dirt, and snow all seem to speak through their beautifully monochromatic compositions.
Choral happens to be Mountains third full album and their first for Thrill Jockey. It also stands as their best album to date and even surpasses the almost universally beloved Field Rituals solo album by Holtkamp on Type. The brightly rendered guitar which gilded Holtkamp's solo record features prominently in the mix for Choral, but it has been tempered with gaseous effects and post-shoegazing processes that swaddle the guitar chords with equally rich drones and electrified mist. Melodica, analog synth, piano, hand bells, something that sounds like a hurdy gurdy, even more guitar, and found object scrabbing a la Jewelled Antler make their way through the soft focus blur of the digital treatments, which give evidence for comparisons in equal measure to Fennesz and Cluster. As the shimmering tones of finger-picked guitars trickle out of the slow pulsing drone of the title track, Mountains conjure images of the bright orange sunlight saturating wind-blown leaves at sunset. Halos of light burst around each glistening layer of sound, but there is a bittersweet aura to many of the melodies that slip beyond their transcendent ambience, as if the summer sun they portray in their songs is soon to be lost to the blustery winds of Autumn and the cold nights of Winter. The maudlin atmospheres continue on the insistent acoustic guitar chords of "Telescope," a near perfect bliss-out instrumental, on through the broken-hearted bells and deep tonal flutter of "Melodica."
If there's any justice, this will be universally hailed as one of the best records of 2009. And for vinyl freeks: the lp version of Choral enjoys two additional tracks not found on the cd!
MPEG Stream: "Choral"
MPEG Stream: "Map Table "
MPEG Stream: "Melodica"

album cover MOUNTAINS Etching (Thrill Jockey) lp 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Earlier this year, Mountains released Choral, an album that is for sure to be on many of our yearend favorite lists. It found the duo truly coming into their own to create a multilayered shoegaze tinged dreamdrift masterpiece. This new lp finds the group in its best long form state of mind with one epic sprawl of daydream bliss-out spread across both sides of this 12". While Mountains have always had their head in the clouds, Etching finds them floating even further out, conjuring up a gorgeous hazy drift of shimmering and crystallized sounds that makes us want to float heavenward right beside them. While we were really impressed with Mountains' ability to craft 'proper' songs on Choral, it's also nice to see them let one of their songs, blossom and expand and unfurl into a long droning and atmospheric bed of sound, that finds them exploring the same sort of territory as folks like William Basinski and Philip Jeck. The mixture of field recordings and their own music is so seamless, creating a soundscape that seems lost in a faded memory. So lovely.
The record comes with a digital download as well in case you don't want to have to get up and flip sides, perhaps interrupting the perfect soundtrack to a late afternoon daydream.
MPEG Stream: "Etching"

album cover MOUNTAINS Mountains Mountains (Catsup Plate Records) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This 4 track ep is unfortunately out of print, just a few weeks after getting released into the world. While this will undoubtedly cause consternation for many, the few who will be fortunate enough to grab this record will have a treasure in their hands. Mountains are the NYC duo of Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, both of whom have a couple of solo recordings with Holtkamp's Field Studies album on Type being the most recent. The A side tracks most clearly reflect where Holtkamp took his solo work, with shimmering acoustic guitars spiralling in tricked out electronics that buzz, sing, chime, and fizzle into a minimalist patter of hallowed drone set against their elliptical finger picking. Very nice. But the B side pieces are where Mountains really shine. These two tracks had originally appeared on some micro-edition 3" cd-r thing that probably even disappeared even faster than this 12" will. Here, their guitars slowburn with the constant roar of post-shoegazing luminescence, set languid with a melachonic air. Belong would be a close reference, but there's a lot more sun-flecked shimmer than you get from Belong's narcotic wash. It's beautiful stuff, no matter how you look at it. Limited to 500, but these are the last copies we'll ever get...

album cover MOUNTAINS Mountains Mountains (Thrill Jockey) lp 17.98
Finally reissued and available again! Here's our review of Mountains Mountains when we listed the Catsup Plate version back in 2008:
Mountains are the NYC duo of Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, both of whom have a couple of solo recordings including Holtkamp's fantastic Field Studies album on Type. The A side tracks here most clearly reflect where Holtkamp took his solo work, with shimmering acoustic guitars spiraling in tricked out electronics that buzz, sing, chime, and fizzle into a minimalist patter of hallowed drone set against their elliptical finger picking. Very nice. But the B side pieces are where Mountains really shine. These two tracks had originally appeared on some micro-edition 3" cd-r thing that disappeared even faster than this 12" the first time around. Here, their guitars slowburn with the constant roar of post-shoegazing luminescence, set languid with a melancholic air. Belong would be a close reference, but there's a lot more sun-flecked shimmer than you get from Belong's narcotic wash. It's beautiful stuff, no matter how you look at it....

MOUNTAINS s/t (Staartje) cd 14.98

album cover MOUNTAINS Sewn (Apestaartje) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
It took us a while to give this a listen as we didn't want the beauty of its pastoral green cover to let us down. Luckily when we finally gave this a listen we realized the sounds contained inside were just as rich and pretty. There is something so delicate and perfectly paced about this record. It unfolds at its own confident pace and when it ends you just kind of want to do it all over again. A duo from the east coast, Mountains so successfully merge acoustic instrumentation, electronics and field recordings to create a layered sound that is not only just totally beautiful but also feels as if there is something under it all that keeps you really interested and attached to every unfolding moment. With a tenderness that rivals Colleen and an aesthetic that reminds us of the shimmering beautiful side of Fennesz, "Sewn" is a record that totally rises above the pack of pastoral electronic tinged records we've seen come out in recent years (which is important, as the trend recently has to been drizzle a little electronic squiggle over generic pop or folk, suddenly transforming it into something AVANT!). To make this album Mountains traveled away from city life into upstate New York and recorded in remote areas of Connecticut, and in their travels they totally captured that feeling of water running through creeks, rain dropping on grass, and what it feels like to be away from it all, soaking up your surrounding and maybe even getting a few moments of total clarity. So nice!sd
MPEG Stream: "Sewn One"
MPEG Stream: "Below"

album cover MOURNER s/t (Paradigms) cd 11.98
Long awaited debut from Nashville doomlords Mourner (featuring members of long time aQ faves Loss), their first for the mighty Paradigms label (who also released this week's ROTW from Murmuure), and while we were all ready to haul out the extra 'o's (as in doooooooooooooooom), seeing as this is indeed a seriously epic and sludgey collection of extreme slow motion heaviness, multiple 'o's just don't quite do this stuff justice. Sure it's slow, and low, and sick and sinister, and blackened and brutal, but it's also weirdly pretty, and strangely melodic, surprisingly lush, just check out the list of instrumentation for your first clue: harmonium, Echoplex, noise, drones, tape loops, field recordings, all wound into the more typical guitar, and drums doom metal arsenal. The record starts out seriously doom-ed, a harsh cackling wicked witch vokill rasp, over murky rumbling bass, crushing spare drum pound, distant haunting shimmer and epic downtuned slowcore chordal crush, sounding almost like a prettier Khanate, the sound creeping and crawling, about as close as anyone has come to channeling slowcore legends Codeine though pure doom, but it doesn't take long for Mourner to distance themselves even further from the doom hordes, the vocals suddenly slipping into a super dramatic King Diamond like falsetto, giving the sound an even more melodic (and hauntingly dramatic vibe), and then the heaviness is peeled back entirely, leaving just some gorgeous skeletal clean guitar, draped over minimal super sparse drumming, the vocals a reverbed growl, the result is something doomy, but more just lovely and mysterious. The track slips back into heaviness, those KD vocals returning too, the song a woozy lumbering dirge that eventually fades out, leaving a bizarre slowed down voice, over a warm softly whirring choral outro.
The comes the 28 minute, two part "Still", a sprawling ambient doom epic, the band laying out a hazy, softdrone backdrop, over which, the guitars occasionally crash, vocals growl and mumble and gurgle and groan, the sounds occasionally coalescing into some sort of impossibly glacial doom death march, but just as often blissing out into something much more ethereal and washed out, clouds of cymbal sizzle, SUNNO)))-like riffscapery, plenty of tripped out effects-drenched drift, whispery clean guitar laced shimmer, some surprisingly pretty almost post rocky bits of melodic meander, hazy layered drones, with the second half being the more traditionally doomy, eventually locking into some seriously devastating lumber and pummel, still atmospheric, and subtly melodic, but heavy as fuck, until finally, the band slips back into something abstract and avant, a slowly unfurling soundscape of muted crunch and rumble, of hushed vocals, clean tendril like guitar lines, all manner of soft focus murk, peppered with the sounds of birds way off in the distance.
Most definitely recommended for the usual slow and low obsessives into Moss, Bunkur, Monarch, The Body, Khanate, Fleshpress, Celestiial, Nadja, Skepticism, Trees, Wicked King Wicker and the like, but Mourner is just weird and melodic enough to maybe reach beyond the doom metal loyal, and open up a whole new world of sound to folks who might not have dared in the past.
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES! Packaged in a cool printed brown paper sleeve, with a printed 4 panel insert.
MPEG Stream: "The Death Posture"
MPEG Stream: "Still I"

album cover MOURNFUL CONGREGATION The Book Of Kings (20 Buck Spin) cd 13.98
We recently reviewed The Unspoken Hymns, an odds and collection from Aussie ultra-mega-doooooomlords Mournful Congregation, and somehow, as we mentioned in that review, it was the very first record from MC we had ever listed (excepting their 4 way split with Loss, Orthodox and Otesanek, which weirdly enough just got reissued and is relisted elsewhere on this week's list!). Here we are a few weeks later, and we've got a brand new full length from MC, their fourth full length since 1994, and it's a sprawling crushing collection of slo-mo funereal doomdirge miserablism, which manages to sound modern, but also straight out of the nineties, reminding us in equal parts of diSEMBOWELMENT, Thergothon, Esoteric, Winter, Skepticism and the like, but there's a huge melodic component, these songs are harrowing, and emotional, darkly melancholic, in some ways it almost sounds like My Dying Bride or Paradise Lost at 16rpm, a mournful depressive dirge, the vocals a rumbling inhuman demonic bellow / gurgle, over plodding glacial pound, and long droned out riffage, all wrapped in spidery minor key melodic leads. It's dark and depressive, but also majestic and epic, this is not the sort of abject sludge creep of Bunkur and Moss and the rest, the sound of Mournful Congregation is much more beholden to classic doom, atmospheric and lush, rife with clean chant like vocal, swirling reverbed ambience, clean guitars, stretches of almost liturgical sounding loveliness, giving way to skull caving crush, only to slip right back into another sprawl of strangely blackened dronefolk.
The 12 minute "The Bitter Veils Of Solemnity" is all acoustic, spare drums, steel string almost-Appalachia, hushed whispered reverbed vox, gorgeously moody and mysterious, acting as a sort of intro to the insanely epic closing title track, which clocks in at a whopping 33 minutes, and is essentially a slo-mo prog doom epic, slipping from doomic churn, to swirling almost psychedelia, to classic metal chug and back again.
Definitely recommended for fans of ANY of the aforementioned bands, as well as anyone into epic slo-mo melodic heaviness, which we would imagine might just be a whole lot of you...
MPEG Stream: "The Catechism Of Depression"
MPEG Stream: "The Waterless Streams"

album cover MOURNFUL CONGREGATION The June Frost (Enucleation) cd 15.98

album cover MOURNFUL CONGREGATION The Unspoken Hymns (20 Buck Spin) cd 10.98
It's been a while since we hauled out the extra o's, but really it's sorta impossible to describe Australian ultra doomlords Mournful Congregation without a bunch of em, cuz this is truly some epic, grim, funereal dooooooooooooooooooooom. Which avid readers of the aQ list will understand as shorthand for creeping glacial tempos, mournful, melancholy melodies, tarpit riffage, deep bellowed vox, pounding slow motion drums, atmospheric and fantastically depressive and miserable. The strange thing is, these guys crank out records like crazy, yet this is the first time we've reviewed a proper record of theirs, the only other time they've made it on the list, was via the Four Burials record, a split with Loss, Orthodox and Otesanek. And actually this collection right here gathers up various tracks from splits and comps, INCLUDING a partially re-recorded version of their song from that split, which we described thusly:
"Legendary purveyors of true doom, Australia's Mournful Congregation, whose sound is sad and sorrowful, melancholy and miserable, a gorgeously epic lugubrious crawl, super melodic, but totally washed out and painted in sweeping shades of black and grey. Think Skepticism, Thergothon, Esoteric, Asunder, the sort of dark, slow motion, soul stirring creep we could listen to forever."
Which indeed pretty much describes everything here, fans of the above mentioned bands who are somehow not already fans of these guys might as well start here. Five tracks, 43 minutes, including the aforementioned Four Burials track, as well as their tracks from the tribute to Thergothon, a split 10" with Stone Wings, a split 7" with Stabat Mater, and a split 7" with Worship, although we were definitely wondering how they managed to cram 8+ minutes onto a 7". Regardless, the sounds here are epic and dark, mournful and melancholy, crushing and gloriously despondent, the perfect soundtrack for black thoughts and broken souls, and essential doooooooooooooom for sure...
MPEG Stream: "Left Unspoken"
MPEG Stream: "The Epitome Of Gods And Men Alike"

album cover MOURNING DAWN For The Fallen... (Total Rust) cd 9.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE**
It can get a bit frustrating when bands play the "don't categorize us" game, especially when they very easily fall under well defined reference points on the sonic spectrum, but Mourning Dawn go at it with a bit more sincerity, aiming simply, in the words of their label, "to play their music and to play it in the most depressive way". Fortunately, these blackened Parisian doomsters pass this self-imposed challenge with flying colors, churning out 8 weighty songs at a mostly midtempo lurch with a heavy dose of glacial atmosphere. The album title, not to mention songs like "In Flanders Fields" and "Dead Youth", and the booklet featuring variations of a the same image of a war torn no man's land, help set the, um, depressive nature of the album that seems to have some sort of WWI theme. Of course, that's great for all us history majors (speaking), but the band certainly has the goods to deliver on such bleak themes, with super slow, ultra melancholy melodies, tortured vocals, and weird crystalline guitars that make their way into the chaotic, overloaded doomscapes. Moments of post-rock grandeur surface occasionally, but most of For The Fallen... is like being wrapped in a fuzzy blanket of suicidal doom metal. Just how we like it.
MPEG Stream: "God Damn The Sun"
MPEG Stream: "Dead Youth"

album cover MOURNING DAWN s/t (Total Rust) cd 13.98
Another back room find. A little stash of this utterly amazing slab of gorgeously melancholy doom. If you missed this one before check it out, you won't be sorry...
You know that Ed Wood movie, where the guy is sitting on his throne, atop a pile of gold, waving his arms dramatically, shouting "More gold!!! Mooooooore gold!! Sometimes we feel like that, only instead of gold, it's doom we're after. "Moooore dooooooom!!! Mooooore doooooooom!!!" And the powers that be seem to have heeded our call. And indeed blessed us with more doom.
This time around it, it has come in the form of French outfit Mourning Dawn, who traffic in an epic and majestic blackened doom.
Huge mournful riffs, simple plodding drums, but unlike most doom, the vocals are a blackened shriek, closer to Xasthur or Weakling than any traditional doom band. Harsh and raw, the vocals drift atop a relentless flow of classic doom. This is not so much filthy and funereal as it is epic and timeless. Less Moss and more My Dying Bride, more Solitude Aeturnus and less Esoteric. But this is not nearly as polished as that might lead you to believe, Rough edges still abound, but the root of Mourning Dawn's sound definitely lies with Cathedral, and My Dying Bride, Katatonia, Paradise Lost, and the like. Doom certainly, but with plenty of death and black swirled into the mix.
The songs are intense and emotional, dark and sorrowful, soaring melodies wrapped around dense slabs of sonic misery, gorgeous stretches of plodding doom joining blasts of midtempo buzz, but everything, always, wrapped in a black fog of abject misery, a neverending melancholia that seeps into every note like spilt blood. Killer.
MPEG Stream: "From The Torrent & The Fountain"
MPEG Stream: "Grey Flood"

album cover MOUSE Lady Killer (Sommor) lp 28.00
First ever legit vinyl reissue of the only record, circa 1973, from this fairly obscure '70s British rock band, best known 'cause their lead guitar player was none other than Ray Russell, the cult free jazz/fusion/psych rock guitarist who did session work as well as a few albums of his own, his fans include Alan Licht and Jim O'Rourke, who put out a double cd Russell anthology on his own Mokai label a while back. In Mouse, Russell definitely goes more rock than jazz, in fact venturing pretty heavy territory at one point. The record is really all over the place, with stuff we love about '70s rock - from groovy, glammy honky tonk to poppy Beatles-y soft rock balladry to full on proto-doom riffery.
The festivities begin with a jolly good time of a song called "Going Out Tonight", a glam rockin' number with campy lyrics, that nicely transitions into an extended, spaced-out psych section which features Russell coaxing some strange sounds from his guitar, fading out eventually, making way for "You Don't Know", a quite pretty & melancholic pop ditty with wistful vocals. Following that, "Electric Lady" finds Mouse cranking up their amps for more of a riff rocker, but one that still has a pop sensibility to it. Next, "All The Fallen Teen Angels" is a cover, and good one, of a song by Medicine Head. Then the side closes out with the mostly instrumental and suprisingly doom-ridden "Asher Besher", the song's lengthy intro of heavy guitar chords and plodding drums being shockingly Sabbathy, what vocals there are closer to croaking crow-cries, before an urgent, burbling bass line kicks in and the track takes off into gnarled psychedelic guitar soloing - followed by a brief acoustic coda. Nice one, that, especially for proto-metal obsessives.
And if you thought that somehow side one had covered all the bases, not quite. Side two starts off with another excellent pop rocker, "We Can Make It", but that's followed by the spooked-out "East Of The Sun", a droning string-laden psych track that mostly sounds like 20th century avant-garde classical music! And then they start in with fuzzy proto-metal riffery again, with "Its Happening To Me And You", with wailing acid rock guitars and lyrics like these: "Waiting for the candy man / wondering who I really am / do you really need to care / if you're here or if you're there / why why why / why don't you try / gotta get high / it's happening to me and you / changes that you're going through / doing what you wanna do / moving like a movie queen / drifting through a purple dream". Druggy, eh? And so it goes, Mouse mixing lovely orchestrated pop with drug addled hippy trippiness and lashings of distorted guitar.
This record is the kind of thing that we'd imagine John Peel would have played a lot, but even if so, probably nobody else did and thus it was Mouse's only release. Still, a bit of a gem nice to have reissued, not just for fans of Ray Russell but also proto-metallers Steel Mill (whose ex-bass player was a member of Mouse), and early '70s UK prog, glam, and pop rock in general.
Remastered, 180 gram vinyl, gatefold sleeve, includes liner note insert, etc.
MPEG Stream: "Electric Lady"
MPEG Stream: "Asher Besher"
MPEG Stream: "It's Happening To Me And You"

MOUSE ON MARS Actionist Respoke (Thrill Jockey) cd ep 8.98
Previewing German indie-electronica superstars Mouse On Mars' upcoming "Idiology" full-length (coming out April 17th) is this 3 track ep, which presents three versions of the song "Actionist Respoke": album version, MoM remix, and MoM with Herbert (Dr. Rockit) remix. Limited release, and only on cd.

album cover MOUSE ON MARS Agit Itter It It (Thrill Jockey ) cd 10.98
A collection of unreleased oddities and remixes from the Cologne duo. Frustratingly, the cd version omits the live "Introduce" featured on the 7" which comes with the vinyl edition, and adds two tracks not featured on the vinyl! Argh! "Rustc" is a lovely, droney organ version (think Stereolab) of "Stammtick", from their "Diskdusk" EP. A great selection of unheard tracks, and stronger overall than the last lp, "Idiology".
RealAudio clip: "Milleader"

MOUSE ON MARS Autoditacker (Thrill Jockey) cd 13.98
German duo break out with another smart, minimalist electronic music album, not as heavy with their previous albums' electro influences as with the techno/house beats. But don't let any of those words scare you, this is some of the best of what's currently out there.

MOUSE ON MARS Autoditacker (Thrill Jockey) lp 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
German duo break out with another smart, minimalist electronic music album, not as heavy with their previous albums' electro influences as with the techno/house beats. But don't let any of those words scare you, this is some of the best of what's currently out there.

MOUSE ON MARS Cache Coeur Naif (Thrill Jockey/Too Pure) 12" 7.98
Laetitia and Mary from Stereolab join these German pop-electronica guys for 2 songs. There are 4 pieces total on this domestic release, 2 more than on the Too Pure import.

MOUSE ON MARS Cache Coeur Naif (Thrill Jockey / Too Pure) cdep 7.98
Laetitia and Mary from Stereolab join these German pop-electronica guys for 2 songs. There are 4 pieces total on this domestic release, 2 more than on the Too Pure import.

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