hello folks! this week, we’re gonna look at the studio record that the Mountain Goats were working on as the pandemic lockdown began, which was released later that year – Getting Into Knives.

Corsican Mastiff Stride is an odd song – the mix feels almost deliberately a tad offputting, bit man the weird guitar on this track is really fun to listen to. i like this, and it sets an odd tone leading into the record. Get Famous is KILLER. i definitely heard this when the record came out, and man this one is just an excellent song. the brass blasts so beautifully on this song, and its jazzy and suave in all the right ways to lay it on thick for the what the song’s doing lyrically. top track of the record, no question for me. Picture of My Dress is really tragic and moving. a small story song that implies a lot with the little it tells, and musically its leaning into some of the same country influences we saw on In League With Dragons. As Many Candles As Possible is bombastic and menacing – definitely feels like it fits a lot with the curse of Get Famous, so its interesting that they situated Picture of My Dress between the two songs. they seem to be leaning into that type of sequencing, since Tidal Wave is a quiet(er), reflective track that spends a lot longer exploring that space and sound, which is neat but i am less fond of on repeated listen. Pez Dorado is a nice track – it reminds me a bit of Possum By Night, where it is about an animal but its not about an animal, yknow? The Last Place I Saw You Alive muses on old haunts, in both senses of the word, over some nice piano track that slowly builds in intensity and accompaniment. Bell Swamp Connection is an interesting track – musically its soothing and careful, and then the lyrics are about succumbing to an unknowable, enveloping force. my gut says this one’s aliens, haha. The Great Gold Sheep is a song about idolatry and, to an extent that same kind of subsuming oneself to another purpose. Rat Queen deals with a similar dynamic, but from a different angle. thematically it reminds me of Goths quite a bit, haha. absolutely killer chorus here. the guitar lick rips right into my brain on this song. Wolf Count’s solid. i do like the contrast with Harbor Me – a track about being hunted and a track about being comforted or taken care of, in a way. closing things out is the title track, Getting Into Knives, a careful song about revenge.

faves – Corsican Mastiff Stride, Get Famous, Picture of My Dress, Rat Queen
dislikes –

this record was definitely a slow grower – i remember being a little put off by it in 2020, and really not giving it much thought, but honestly i think there’s a lot here i really really enjoy after sitting with it for a bit. i am, naturally, inclined to enjoy the higher intensity, more upbeat tracks, but i think theres stuff i like about most of the tracks on this record.

Getting Into Knives – 8/10

support the band by checking this album out on Bandcamp!

the beginning: Zopilote Machine | previous: Songs for Pierre Chuvin | next: Dark In Here

all my reviews for The Mountain Goats