morning folks! we’re gonna be checking out the second of the compilation records put out to cover early Mountain Goats material, Protein Source of the Future… Now! this compilation, along with Protein Source of the Future… Now!, were originally released in 1999 with Ajax Records before being re-released on 3 Beads of Sweat in 2002. as with Protein Source, i’m going to be skipping the overall review i normally include unless one of them really blows me away – i anticipate not having anything unique or novel to say about them as collections of tracks.

Noche del Guajolote is from a compilation single from ’94 titled I Like Walt. this is an extremely pleasant song. Going to Bangor, off of a 1994 compilation cassette called You and What Army, has an extremely fun guitar rhythm. Against Agamemnon is off of another compilation album from 1994, this one titled Howl!…A Farewell Compilation of Unreleased Songs. interesting little song – the Mountain Goats wiki has a bit on this one where John Darnielle goes over the myth that inspired the track, and it ends up flavoring this as a moment of clarity. the next run of tracks are from the Mountain Goat’s third cassette, Transmissions to Horace, from 1993. Going to Cleveland starts with that horrible whistle, like a train putting on the brakes. horrid to listen to. the song after it is fine, but way to sour my impression. its a pretty solid breakup song, all things considered. Early Spring has a surprising amount of spite to it, haha. Historiography is aight.  No, I Can’t. has a nice lil spoken intro to it – it’s not the only one on this compilation, and i kinda dig those, personally. i really like this song – we’ll hear an alternate version of this song later. Alpha Desperation March is a weird one. the last line there really calls into question how reliable this narrator is. “you ask me to hold you / that’s the devil’s work” from Going to Monaco is an incredibly good line. Star Dusting is a really sad song. the guitar in Teenage World remind me of an America song. Going to Santiago is aight. Sail On is a cover of a song by the Commodores – i don’t believe i’m familiar with the original for this song. Black Molly, from 1996’s In Release City, is a live recording, which kinda adds a level of rowdiness to the song that i dig. Rain Song was from 1994’s I Present This. it has one of my favorite recording intros, as he hasn’t named the song when he goes to record it. i love that so much. the song itself is a pretty clear plea, i enjoy it. the next few tracks were from a 1992 7″ called Songs for Petronius. The Bad Doctor is a fine song. Alpha Double Negative: Going to Catalina mixes two popular Mountain Goats motifs into a single song! fun! (not for the subjects of the song!) honestly being on the ferry to Catalina do be like this though. we’ve heard this before on Nothing For Juice, and i think it’s fine in both places. Pure Intentions does some weird stuff with a keyboard preset/drum machine combo. not huge on this one. The Lady From Shanghai is a neat track. Pure Love’s keyboard hook is way too prominent in the mix, to be honest. kind of a bummer. Song For an Old Friend is from The Wheel Method, from 1995. nice track. Snow Song is from a compilation called Dog So Large I Cannot See Past It, from 1996. no huge thoughts here. Faithless Bacchant Song is from Those Pre-Phylloxera Years, released in 1994. really like the energy on this song. the rest of the tracks are from Songs for Peter Hughes, which i think is really interesting, cause the Transmissions to Horace tape tracks were also originally recorded and released for Peter Hughes’ tape label, haha. Short Song about the 10 Freeway is a nice mellow track. love that twist with the final lyric. this version of No, I Can’t. does some cool stuff with the bass in addition to Rachel from the Bright Mountain Choir providing vocals on the chorus, which i think does quite a bit for the song, haha. Song For Dana Plato does some weird, subtly dissonant things with the chords here. weird song. no big thoughts about their cover of Ace of Base’s  The Sign.

faves – Going to Monaco, No, I Can’t. – Alternate Version
dislikes –

Bitter Melon Farm – 4/10

once again, massively appreciative of the Mountain Goats wiki, who has all this info laid out cleanly and linked together, saving me a ton of scrubbing through discogs or wikipedia. ive used them for some previous releases, as they track John Darnielle’s comments at live shows or in liner notes on these tracks, which is fantastic. there are some really funny ones from this collection, so i recommend checking out their pages for these tracks.

next week, we’re checking out the Mountain Goats’ 2000 album, The Coroner’s Gambit

the beginning: Zopilote Machine | previous: Protein Source of the Future… Now! | next: The Coroner’s Gambit

all my reviews for The Mountain Goats