Out Now: The Mountain Goats’ ‘Bleed Out’ LP, Inspired by Classic Action Movies (Listen)


Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Bleed Out is a new studio album from celebrated indie rockers The Mountain Goats.

Released today, Aug. 19, the record was billed as “a cinematic experience inspired by action movies from the 60s, 70s and 80s,” and was produced by Alicia Bognanno of the indie/rock band Bully.

The first track shared from the album was “Training Montage,” which debuted as a music video in which band leader John Darnielle and his colleagues get pumped up and ready for a show:

It’s the 20th studio album from the band, and its specific inspiration was described by Darnielle like this:

“When I write an album that revolves around a theme, it usually takes two or three songs before I notice what’s going on. There’s always one song that becomes the ‘might as well dive all the way in’ song and on Bleed Out that song was ‘Wage Wars Get Rich Die Handsome,’ written while watching a French action movie way past my normal bedtime. Once I had the chorus of this one I started asking myself the kinds of questions that usually end up shaping the album: What if I just wrote all the songs on guitar? What if I leaned into the uptempo ones? In recent years I shy away from the fist-punch no-brakes anthemic style but here I figured, you know, no point just wading around in blood if I’m already in knee-deep.”

Click here to pick up Bleed Out on CD from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pick up Bleed Out on LP from our Rock Cellar Store

More on the album, per a news release, and Darnielle’s pandemic-inspired creative burst:

Maybe you are just like John Darnielle: In the depths of the pandemic winter at the end of 2020, the Mountain Goats frontman passed the time trapped at home in North Carolina watching pulpy action movies, finding comfort in familiar tropes and sofabound escapism. But you are not really like John Darnielle, unless the action movies you found comfort in included French thrillers like 2008’s Mesrine, vintage Italian poliziotteschi, or the 1974 Donald Pleasence mad-scientist vehicle The Freakmaker. Or unless watching them brought you back to your formative days as an artist, when watching films fueled and soundtracked your songwriting jags and bare-bones home recordings and in turn inspired your 20th album to be a song cycle about the allure—and futility—of vengeance. But there’s no shame in not being like John Darnielle; few people are.

“On earlier tapes you’ll find these sound samples,” Darnielle says. “‘Oh, where’s this sample from?’ It’s from whatever movie I was watching while I was sitting around on the couch with a guitar. I watch a movie, somebody’d say something that I like the sound of and I’ll write that phrase down. And then I would pause the VHS, write the song, record the song on a boombox, and go back to watching my movie. I got into doing that again; I just kept watching action movies and taking notes on what they’re about and on what the governing plots and tropes and styles are. It was very much like an immersion method acting technique.”

Stay tuned for more from the Mountain Goats and this new record and catch a show below:

8/19 – Wilmington, NC @ Brooklyn Arts Center
8/20 – Charlotte, NC @ Queen City Jam Session
8/28 – Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry
8/29 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Anchor Rock Club
8/30 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
8/31 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall – SOLD OUT
9/2 – Boston, MA @ Wilbur Theatre
9/3 – Pawtucket, RI @ The Met
9/4 – Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
9/7 – Kalamazoo, MI @ Bell’s Beer Garden
9/8 – McKees Rocks, PA @ Roxian Theatre
9/9 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
9/10 – Bloomington, IN @ Bluebird Nightclub
9/11 – Little Rock, AR @ Little Rock Hall
9/13 – Fayetteville, AR @ JJ’s Live
9/15 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
9/16 – Austin, TX @ Paramount Theatre
9/17 – Fort Worth, TX @ Tulips
9/18 – New Orleans, LA @ Tipitina’s
9/20 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
9/21 – Knoxville, TN @ Bijou Theatre
9/22 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
9/23 – Wilmington, NC @ Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
11/10 – Vienna, Austria @ WUK Foyer ~
11/11 – Berlin, Germany @ Columbia Theater ~
11/12 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso ~
11/14 – Antwerp, Belgium @ De Roma ~
11/16 – London, UK @ Roundhouse ~
11/17 – Manchester, UK @ Albert Hall ~
11/18 – Dublin, Ireland @ Vicar Street ~

* duo performance with Izzy Heltai
^ duo performance with Abby Hamilton
~ with Carson McHone



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