9/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 12 January 2012
Got a confession to make...I've never been a big fan of Guided By Voices. I'm not sure why, after all they tick most of my boxes in terms of style and content and they were highly active at the most significant period in my musical development. I guess it's the volume of work I always found daunting. These lads seriously knock it out. I mean, they didn't even intend to to make a new record when the classic line-up reconvened to reap the rewards of the 'bands should reform for money and glory' culture we are currently stuck with, but here they are with a mammoth 21 track LP that taps into the best periods of their illustrious career without destroying the legacy of the band. Seasoned GBV fans like Clinton and Dave are not massively taken by this album (yet) but this is my third listen now and I'm totally down. This may have something to do with the dire state of new releases at the moment but, more likely, it's a reflection on Pollard and gang's ability to conjure fantastic pop music so effortlessly from their booze soaked fingers. There are some fantastic tunes here, like second single 'The Unthinkable Fats Domino', 'Waves', 'Chocolate Boy' and 'How I Met My Mother'. There are also some hilarious moments like when Pollard adopts his Greg Lake style prog vocal style on 'Hang Mr Kite' or the various stabs at Beatles-esque psych-pop that still sound slightly clumsy (yet no less charming I might add) in his/their hands. Album highlight for me is 'God Loves Us'. Clocking in at 1:28 minutes it's a perfect piece of music whose chugging guitar motif and earworm melody never intended to outstay its welcome. I could play it over and over. Safe to say that GBV totally deliver here, unlike the other cash-in fuckjobs doing the rounds. And you gotta love them kick outs!!! Thanks lads.
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