The Mountain Goats :: "Cry For Judas"

The just released Mountain Goats single, "Cry For Judas" comprises two of John Darnielle's favorite elements: religious imagery and a slicing, wincing revisionism. The narrative here is about regret, told from a somewhat sympathetic perspective toward Judas, though the implication here is: Everyone can be a bad guy sometimes. The horn rich arrangement and splashy drums hide lyrics like, "feel the storm every night," "sad and angry, can't learn how to behave," and the chilling refrain, "long black night, morning thoughts, I'm still here but all is lost." This is an artist who memorably compared his transcendence of his abusive father to the first tetrapods who "wriggled up on dry land," using the evolutionary story to tell a darkly triumphant human one. So, it isn't surprising that Darnielle would mine for material in the night the Romans executed the not-yet Christian world's messiah. Judas would, according to the Gospel, die by his own hand and with that the terrible final act was complete. Consider it Darnielle's profound talent and empathy to steer the camera from a different direction, turning the exceptional, the messianic, the specific, into the terrifyingly common.

"Cry For Judas" is the first single from the Mountain Goats forthcoming LP, Transcendental Youth, out October 22, 2012. Download it for free here.

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