Led by former school teacher Robert Pollard, Dayton, OH's Guided By Voices pursued an aesthetic marked by structural brevity, lo-fi sound, bizarre lyrics, and a preference for early to mid-period Who and other primal pop-rock. Pollard continually shifted the group's lineup, with a new outfit backing him on nearly every record. On 1999's DO THE COLLAPSE, GBV polished its sound considerably, bringing in Ric Ocasek as a producer. GBV played their final show on New Year's Eve 2004, however Pollard continues to write and record as a solo artist and with various collaborators.
The holy grail. It still stands as their best (or at least among them), 20+ albums later.
Midwestern obscure-rock archivists and curators Guided by Voices are back before you could consider them gone with another fun-filled, hook-happy hodge podge of songs, half-songs, ideas, and vaguely pleasing sounds to get you through summer. How many influences can you find in this picture? A Beatles harmony and a Syd Barrett musing here and there are easy to spot, but how about the pack of no-name psychedelicists and prepunk garage dwellers that only Guided by voices have ever heard of? Could be thousands. GBV are so good at integrating references, in fact, their records sound like nothing more than well-groomed and quirky modern rock. Call them post-postmodernists--what else to brand a group that sings a song named "The Golden Heart Mountain Top Queen Directory" without even a smirk and doesn't come off disgustingly pretentious? Sincere? Timeless? We get the joke while they swear they never made one. --Roni Sarig
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