The Mountain Goats // Beat the Champ

Categories:  Music    Music Reviews
Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 at 8:15 AM
The Mountain Goats // Beat the Champ by Alex Bieler

The Mountain Goats

Beat the Champ

Merge

4 stars

Eyebrows were certainly raised when it was announced that the latest album by the Mountain Goats was going to be based on professional wrestling. Still, Mountain Goats main man John Darnielle has shown that he can write about things like a pair of guys who want to start the best-ever death-metal band out of Denton, Texas and make you care about them. The same goes for the characters on Beat the Champ, an album that embraces the at-times cheesy nature of wrasslin’ and highlights the highs and lows of the business. The blistering “Choked Out” channels the adrenaline rush of a match, while opener “Southwestern Territory” beautifully captures the struggle of the small-time performer. Darnielle cares about these muses, and by the time you hear the riveting tale of a wrestler turned villain in “Heel Turn 2,” you’ll be hooked by what could have been just a gimmick in a lesser musician’s hands. – Alex Bieler

Erie Reader: Vol. 6, No. 20
Now Available — Pick It Up Today

CURRENT

Now serving up good vibes on State Street

Fighting for change in our most vulnerable communities.

Running into a blazing building can be ‘terrifying,’ but some choose to do it, anyway. 

Here are three good opportunities to lighten up as the nights grow longer.

Dancing Wheels bring a world premiere to Mercyhurst.

IN THIS ISSUE

Now serving up good vibes on State Street

Fighting for change in our most vulnerable communities.

Running into a blazing building can be ‘terrifying,’ but some choose to do it, anyway. 

Here are three good opportunities to lighten up as the nights grow longer.

Dancing Wheels bring a world premiere to Mercyhurst.

Shapeshift With Me, relative to the band’s spectacular catalog as a whole, is certainly one of their less powerful studio albums.

Grate every road in downtown Erie all at once.

Some ‘multigrain’ bread has a little more protein than you’d like. 

Don’t just dream it. Be it!

If De Palmas trip down memory lane whets your appetite, come back to the museum for one of his most underrated movies a week later.