morning folks! this week we’re taking a break from the regular schedule to try and catch some recent (and a few not recent) releases that have slipped by me on the normal review pace. today’s review is going to be the August 2022 release from the Mountain Goats, Bleed Out. let’s dig in!

the opening track here, Training Montage, was the lead single off the record, and yeah i love this song. got a great kinda rising action to it, and i like the playful references to the cinematic montage, haha. Mark On You has a really tense vibe that dissipates a little over that chorus, and i gotta say this one’s incredibly catchy. found myself humming this one a lot more than i expected. Wage Wars Get Rich Die Handsome is the breakout star for me on this one. the determined, relentless vibe built by the lyrics and percussion of the verses pays off perfectly with those blasting choruses. huge fan. god the sax in Extraction Point is absolutely delicious. this track feels like a victory lap shot by a helicopter over a city at night. fantastic track. Bones Don’t Rust is a fun track. a track about someone working in the underbelly and knowing they’re in it for the long haul. not one of my big faves but one i really enjoy. i enjoy First Blood fine enough – its got a good message and the guitar hook is great – but doesnt end up taking off for me. Make You Suffer has some mild verses but a fantastic chorus. Guys On Every Corner is an extremely fun track. Hostages feels like a synthesis of what Extraction Point and Make You Suffer are doing – its a cinematic track with this creeping dark vibe to it. Need More Bandages has a real fun energy, and i really like it after Hostages – a kind of aftermath in terms of mood and theme. Incandescent Ruins i think feels the least at home here – i like the folky vibes but its a little strange with the tracks around it. it does do an interesting job of isolating the title track though. Bleed Out is the quiet epilogue, the bow on top. the darker side to the kind of points Bones Don’t Rust implies. really big fan of both the track and the choice of closer.

faves – Training Montage, Wage Wars Get Rich Die Handsome, Extraction Point
dislikes –

while not a narrative album, this record is incredibly thematically tight. machismo, danger, living in the shadows, ulterior motives, and underdog stories tie these tracks inspired by action movies together, and it tugs at the pattern seeking part of my brain to literally tie them together, theyre just a lot of fun. but ultimately theyre about a society that indulges and encourages these kinds of fantasies, both in the fun and harmful ways.

plus, the songwriting is fantastic here. between infectious hooks and more reflective tracks, Darnielle’s lyrics shine and the whole band is performing fantastically. even tracks that didnt end up being huge hits for me like First Blood and Make You Suffer have some great parts to them. really fun record.

Bleed Out – 8/10

stay tuned for this to link up to the rest of the discography review!