April 2015 National Album Reviews

Review: The Mountain Goats – Beat The Champ

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The Mountain Goats
Beat The Champ
Merge Records
Street: 04.17
The Mountain Goats = Elliot Smith + The National
Writers and songwriters inevitably write themselves into their art, and The Mountain Goats are no exception. They are an indie folk-rock band telling a story with every song. Beat The Champ is a project that forms new passions while revisiting the old: The album reflects on professional wrestling, a primary escape during the childhood of band member John Darnielle. Beat The Champ bleeds nostalgia, is at times comical and sometimes serious. One moment, there are punky, upbeat drums and electric guitar, the next, a jazzy and then lamenting piano. Darnielle sings: “Some things you will remember / Some things stay sweet forever.” Listen to Beat The Champ and be surprised at what it helps you remember. –Lizz Corrigan