Goths. The record is a series of homages to goth legends of the past. Although leader Darnielle composed all the songs as usual, bassist Peter Hughes explains on the Mountain Goats website that the rest of the band also consider themselves “erstwhile goths” who marvel at the idea of “Pat Travers showing up to a Bauhaus show looking to jam.” In an interesting twist, the album was recorded without guitars. The hints of gothic menace on “Rain in Soho” emanate from dark piano chords and rumbling tom-toms, whereas the mellow idyll “Andrew Eldritch Is Moving Back to Leeds” is closer to Darnielle’s usual low-key folk.
“No one broke D.B. Cooper’s fall … no one knows when the Batcave closed,” John Darnielle mutters enigmatically on “Rain in Soho,” from The Mountain Goats’ 16th album,