Beat The Champ (LP)


The Mountain Goats

Vinyl
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$26.98
SHIPS FREE in U.S.
Also available in: CD

Amoeba Review

04/06/2015

With Beat the Champ, John Darnielle focuses his long-running Mountain Goats project on the pro-wrestlers he idealized as a child. Starting with the jazzy “Southwestern Territory,” Darnielle puts us in the minds and lives of the real (imagined) people behind the masks. Though it’s an album about a singular concept, Beat the Champ’s style and feel is able to leap around significantly, from jangling indie pop (“The Legend Of Chavo Guerrero’) to snarling rock (“Choked Out”), with lovely piano interludes scattered in. Darnielle’s lyrics give us snippets of details and pointed rejoinders—“I personally will stab you in the eye with a foreign object,” he sings precisely over fat bass and horns on “Foreign Object.” He paints vivid images in the spare, haunting “Stabbed to Death Outside San Juan” (“I’m on the stretcher, here come the cleaners”). Perhaps most effectively, the appeal of old-school pro wrestling and effect on Darnielle himself comes out in “The Legend Of Chavo Guerrero”—Darnielle sits as a child, watching a Mexican pro-wrestler in Spanish on a black-and-white TV and sings reflectively, “I need justice in my life,” and, more directly, “you let me down but Chavo never once did.” You need not care about wrestling to let Beat the Champ affect you; it’s ultimately a deeply personal work, revealing in its humanity.



Track Listing



Side A Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Southwestern Territory
The Mountain Goats 04:14
2.
The Legend Of Chavo Guerrero
The Mountain Goats 03:00
3.
Foreign Object
The Mountain Goats 02:51


Side B Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Animal Mask
The Mountain Goats 02:54
2.
Choked Out
The Mountain Goats 01:42
3.
Heel Turn 2
The Mountain Goats 05:58


Side C Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Fire Editorial
The Mountain Goats 03:22
2.
Stabbed To Death Outside San Juan
The Mountain Goats 03:48
3.
Werewolf Gimmick
The Mountain Goats 02:34
4.
Luna
The Mountain Goats 03:27


Side D Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Unmasked!
The Mountain Goats 03:28
2.
The Ballad Of Bull Ramos
The Mountain Goats 02:53
3.
Hair Match
The Mountain Goats 05:40

Vinyl
Buy
$26.98
SHIPS FREE in U.S.
Also available in: CD
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