News, Reviews

Mister Goblin Shares New Single “Left Before Your Set” Out via Exploding In Sound Records

August 10, 2021
photo courtesy of Maggie Schoolbus



Following the release of Mister Goblin’s Four People In An Elevator and One of Them Is The Devil earlier this year, Exploding In Sound Records is back with Sam Goblin’s (Two Inch Astronaut) latest single, “Left Before Your Set”. The song takes a heavy and caustic approach to post-hardcore, that’s full of biting sarcasm and a hilarious look into the struggles of being an underground band. The excuses come flying with knowing smirk. The track is a preview of what to expect from the next Mister Goblin release, straying from the complex pop of previous releases into something more aggressive but just as brilliantly self-aware.

Speaking about the tracking, Mister Goblin said it “was inspired by the giant gulf between people involved in the music scene and people who are not, in terms of what is considered important. I played all the instruments which was fun, as was getting back to my very obnoxious roots.” 

Mister Goblin has created this fast-paced ferocious harmonic ensemble with a long-lasting impression. Attitude oozes from every angle of this mammoth creation. This raw tonality shines throughout the complex and punk-inspired ensemble. The most energizing and daring hard-hitting arrangement. Angular and intense passages cascade over this expressive soundscape.

“Left Before Your Set” was recorded by Chip Crosby and Alex Kandel in Louisville, KY in June 2021. Mixed by Chip Crosby and mastered by Bill Henderson at Azimuth Mastering.

Mister Goblin’s latest release, Four People In An Elevator and One Of Them Is The Devil, is an album that Sam Goblin describes as being both “absurd” and his first concept album. He points out that it is “probably no coincidence that these things are co-occurring.” Building upon the emotional range of his music as Mister Goblin (and with Two Inch Astronaut before that), Four People… is another fine example of his impactful and melodic songwriting, with an added confidence that allows him to get progressively goofier without a care. That deepened sense of humor lays roots, but there’s an unshaken intimacy and vulnerability that are never far behind. Mister Goblin is not concerned with keeping up with the times or a unified stylistic approach, as he instead turns focus toward the 2010 movie “Devil,” a film that Sam Goblin says is “not an amazing movie, but I think it’s an interesting jumping off point for conversations about culpability, blame, ideas of good and evil, and just morality in general.”

With two Mister Goblin releases already out in the world, the hurdles of writing for a solo project rather than his former band have become less significant. Four People… captures Mister Goblin with a heightened confidence in mapping out the majority of the instrumentation on his own. The songs were demoed and sent to the album’s producer Seth Engel (Options), who learned the drum parts and added his own embellishments. The two recorded the record over the span of a week at Engel’s own Pallet Sound in Chicago. “When we had the basic tracking done, I sent a couple tracks out to Matt Gatwood to add some piano and cello layering, Mike Siegel to do some standup bass, and Sadie Dupuis to add some harmonies. Their parts were entirely their ideas,” shared Goblin.

Following 2019’s Is Path Warm?, a record that focused on his own experiences working in the metal health profession, Goblin began to write and arrange the songs on Four People… while in quarantine, a fitting time to pay tribute to a movie he describes as “very mediocre” that takes place largely in the isolation of a small room, in this case an elevator. He explores the ideas of “moral purism and who should be sorry and what does it mean to be truly sorry or truly repentant.” While the theme of the release is relatively loose beyond the album’s opener (“The Devil”), Mister Goblin does play with the idea of being “the proverbial devil in the elevator” throughout a reflective record which touches upon sentiments of disappointment, empathy, and gratitude. it’s a record that feels human, an honest reflection on both connections and avoidance, for better and worse.

That mix of humor and heartbreak finds Mister Goblin at its best on “Six Flags America,” the album’s lead single, a song about anticipation and eventual disappointment related to a cancelled trip to the amusement park. Sam Goblin and frequent collaborator Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz/Sad13) trade verses over the interwoven acoustic guitars and cello, offering a shattering emotional landscape that invokes the youthful anticipation of getting on the biggest roller coaster in the park only to come the harsh reality that the trip isn’t happening. The song’s composition really expands on that sorrow with Gatwood’s well orchestrated cello and Goblin’s dejected vocals.

While other songs find Mister Goblin attempting to understand scammers taking advantage of the elderly as he imagines them as actors looking for work (“Hook In The Eye”) and examining hurt distributed to those we love most (“At Least”), Four People… finds a comfort in being able to follow these ideas in an idiosyncratic way, as one thought leads to another, and the pieces come together in a unique yet cohesive whole.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.