There is always water. In flowing rivers, in falling raindrops, in waves that will tear us to pieces, in ice cold glasses toasting the living and the dead. Water can carve away at mountainsides over eons, or come crashing over the city in an instant. Animals, fugitives, loners, and crumbling signs of life swim through the depths of the MOUNTAIN GOATS’ Getting Into Knives. Like an eight-foot swell of blades, JOHN DARNIELLE, MATT DOUGLAS, PETER HUGHES and JON WURSTER ground the songs in the impermanence of permanence and the certainty of uncertainty, the casual and subtle threat that everything will come to an end. The Mississippi River slithers alongside the sprawl of Memphis, separating Tennessee from Arkansas. That constant churn fuels the city’s energy, marking it as a hub long before it became a beating heart of soul, blues, and country. The Mountain Goats tapped into that devotion by decamping from North Carolina to Sam Phillips Recording, a spot that played home to sessions for The Cramps and was designed to be a post-show hangout for Elvis Presley. The quartet packed into the studio to bask in its past, alongside guests including CHARLES HODGES, who played organ on Al Green’s genre-defining hits.