Daily Dose Pick: The Extra Lens

Mountain Goats main man John Darnielle teams up with sometime band mate, solo artist, and Nothing Painted Blue songwriter Franklin Bruno for their first Extra Lens (formerly Extra Glenns) album in nearly a decade.

Undercard, the first release that represents a true creative collaboration between Darnielle and Bruno, won’t hold many surprises for Mountain Goats fans: These are spare, well-written songs with smart, sad, literary lyrics. (The song title “Rockin’ Rockin’ Twilight of the Gods” just about says it all.) If anything, the Extra Lens tracks are less jagged and more polished than the average Mountain Goats release, perhaps because the pair recorded the album on an uncharacteristically relaxed schedule.

But those of us who love Darnielle for his sing-along anthems of depression and defeat will certainly find Undercard of a piece with his remarkably solid, consistent canon. And while we were curious to see if he’d switch things up more under a different name, we just can’t bring ourselves to complain.

Visit Merge for more info on The Extra Lens, become a Facebook fan, follow them on Twitter, download the single “Only Existing Footage,” and stream the album in full.

The Extra Lens 2010 tour dates:

10.19.10 – Philadelphia, PA – Tin Angel *
10.20.10  – Washington, DC – Rock and Roll Hotel *
10.21.10 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge *
10.23.10 – Northampton, MA – Iron Horse Music Hall *
* w/ John Vanderslice