In League with Dragons by The Mountain Goats [6/10]

Album Number 17 for ultra creative John Darnielle (his novel Wolf in White Van was one of my 2014 standouts), “In League with Dragons” is odd enough and subdued enough to almost be a curio. Continuing Darnielle’s recent phase of semi-jazzy arrangements (again drummer Jon Wurster breathes life into every moment) and quietly enunciated vocals, at first listen this can seem bland. But the left-field song topics and lyrics – we’re talking tales of marsupials, wizards, rock singers, Ozzy Osbourne, cadaver sniffing dogs, and more – ensure a fascinating eleven-song offering. And “Going Invisible 2” reminds us of the declamatory old Goats, with Darnielle building up to sing “I’m gonna burn it down one day.” A genuinely strange but intriguing set.

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