At a recent social event, I was accosted by a GBV obsessive who was unhappy at our appraisals of their recent work but the truth is, it's been dreadful. I wonder if this will be any better? This is the thirteenth (c'mon, how many do you actually own?) by Robert Pollards three piece rock side project and according to the press release, they have dropped their brash psychedelic rock in favour of acoustic ballads. Sounds a good idea so long as Pollard has remembered to write some songs.
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Right. Who wants more Robert Pollard? This is him teaming up with Todd Tobias (with whom he has recorded a lot of his solo albums) and Tim Tobias, presumably Todd’s brother. The last couple of Guided By Voices albums before their inevitable second split were shockers, as was Pollards recent Teenage Guitar shambles. I have no real excitement about any of his solo work these days having sat through too many dull, tossed off LPs in my time.
This is a little different in that it has a soft, acoustic sound throughout with jangling guitars and some sweet melodies. It has a kind of freeform feel, the songs are melodic but not concise, they drift along and overall its quite a pleasant listen. Highlights include the tuneful ‘Eyemask of Leaves’ which has the twangy folky feel of early Rod Stewart, ‘They’re No Real Honey’ which lollops along to nice effect before bursting into a very nice chorus indeed. The B side reveals a lot more dicking around and not the sudden bursts into pleasant pop as found on the A side.
At the end of the day it’s just a bunch of old guys messing around but its an enjoyable enough listen.
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