Album review: All Hail West Texas by the Mountain Goats

A split-second of silence, followed by the whirring of gears. For many years, this is how most Mountain Goats songs began. John Darnielle’s Panasonic RX-FT500 boombox is almost as famous as the man who pressed record to document songs that, whether fictional or autobiographical, seemed intensely personal. The fact that the boombox recordings sound like unearthed artifacts certainly encourages that feeling, but when Darnielle started regularly recording in studios with full bands, the intimacy remained. Darnielle, it turned out, was just a damn good songwriter.
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