Album review: The Mountain Goats – ‘The Life Of The World To Come’

A holy alliance one step too far

John Darnielle’s last [a]Mountain Goats[/a] record was called [b]‘Heretic Pride’[/b], and each track on this latest one – his 17th studio album – is based on a different passage in the Bible. [b]Alanis Morissette[/b] would probably call that ironic. In less dexterous hands, of course, this could – and most likely would – be a disaster, but Darnielle’s lyrical prowess and songwriting nous ensures he just about gets away with it. But even though the sense of pathos in lines like [i]“Break the lock on my own garden gate/When I get home after dark/Sit looking up at the stars outside/Like teeth in the mouth of a shark”[/i] (‘Genesis 3:23’) makes his spin on the book’s teachings less po-faced than the original, it’s still all a bit cloying.

[b]Rob Webb[/b]

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