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All Hail West Texas [Bonus Tracks]

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The Mountain Goats 7/23/2013

Review

Complex, awe-inspiring, and fresh with fretwork excitement, John Darnielle steps up to the mike with guitar in hand, revealing sentimental and emotionally charged acoustic gems. Leader of the Mountain Goats, Darnielle doesn't hide any sense of creativity while composing the material for this record. All Hail West Texas has juicy bits and pieces of melodic tapestry, with a forceful percussive background statement keeping the music afloat. Perhaps what most often reveal themselves during this lush and stylistically complex endeavor are the mature and naturally contemplative lyrics that Darnielle has been able to put together into his songs. Highlights such as "Riches and Wonders" and "Distant Stations" jump at the chance to grab the listener. Other tunes that break through indie-level barriers are the eclectic "Fall of the Star High School Running Back" and the original "Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton." The textured feel of the variety of sounds and notes created by the Mountain Goats is appealing and gripping, a foray into sounds chilling and pristine. The delivery of the lyrics is wondrous and breathtaking during certain moments. The band's instrumental ability possesses dexterous flair, and the result is the charm of the record's immediacy and absorbing emotional impact. The tragic weakness of All Hail West Texas is perhaps its need for persistent listening in order to understand the direction of the music. However, maybe that just proves to be the magic key, and the route to further appreciation of this particular period of the Mountain Goats' music. [All Hail West Texas was the first album John Darnielle recorded entirely solo in his home under the Mountain Goats moniker. This reissue adds seven demo tracks of songs that were recorded during the same time period but were not used on the final album.] ~ Shawn M. Haney
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton The Mountain Goats 2:33
  3. 2 Fall of the Star High School Running Back The Mountain Goats 1:46
  4. 3 Color in Your Cheeks The Mountain Goats 2:36
  5. 4 Jenny The Mountain Goats 2:47
  6. 5 Fault Lines The Mountain Goats 2:35
  7. 6 Balance The Mountain Goats 1:59
  8. 7 Pink and Blue The Mountain Goats 2:26
  9. 8 Riches and Wonders The Mountain Goats 3:55
  10. 9 The Mess Inside The Mountain Goats 3:31
  11. 10 Jeff Davis County Blues The Mountain Goats 3:9
  12. 11 Distant Stations The Mountain Goats 3:0
  13. 12 Blues in Dallas The Mountain Goats 4:12
  14. 13 Source Decay The Mountain Goats 3:43
  15. 14 Absolute Lithops Effect The Mountain Goats 3:6
  16. 15 Hardpan Song The Mountain Goats 1:57
  17. 16 Answering the Phone The Mountain Goats 2:25
  18. 17 Indonesia The Mountain Goats 2:13
  19. 18 Midland The Mountain Goats 3:12
  20. 19 Jenny [Alternate Take] The Mountain Goats 2:52
  21. 20 Tape Travel Is Lonely The Mountain Goats 2:32
  22. 21 Waco The Mountain Goats 3:3

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