The Mountain Goats
Transcendental Youth - MERGE
FILTER Grade: 83%
By Erin Hall on October 1, 2012
John Darnielle has been making music for a long time. Not all of it has been readily accessible or approachable, but the last few releases under The Mountain Goats moniker have been more in line with what one thinks of as a “rock” record. Joined by bassist Peter Hughes and Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster, Darnielle’s brilliant, pointed lyrics are reaching a new audience. Transcendental Youth shines its light on societally marginalized characters and their struggle to merely exist. Of course, this is all punctuated by punchy horns and shuffling guitar. The first lines of opener “Amy (aka Spent Gladiator 1)” tell the entire journey of this album: “Do every stupid thing that makes you feel alive / Do every stupid thing to try to drive the dark away.” After all this time, Darnielle is still searching for the light.