GOAT, RESPLENDENT

The Mountain Goats summit in Manhattan

After a hair-raising and introspective trio of autobiographical full-lengths, the Mountain Goats’ new Heretic Pride feels especially redemptive. John Darnielle, the band’s only regular member, spent the ’90s writing intensely literate odes to alcoholics, high-school misfits, and small-time fugitives. A contract with the upscale indie 4AD in 2002 pointed him toward more intricate arrangements and, for the first time, some candid reflections on his own troubled childhood. Heretic Pride reclaims the hammering acoustic downstroke, emphatic yelp, and enduring empathy of his earlier work. “San Bernadino” finds two young kids checking into a motel room in preparation for the arrival of their firstborn son—as the father runs a bath for the two of them, you can hear Darnielle wishing with all he can muster for things to turn out OK. With the Moaners.
Tue., March 18, 8:30 p.m., 2008
 
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