And Another! As Alan Partridge might say. Warp And Woof is Guided By Voices’ ultra-speedy follow-up to February’s double offering, Zeppelin Over China. Robert Pollard and co. have taken their already prolific nature and turbo charged it. This one prides itself on cramming lots of songs into less that 40 minutes, a similar feat to the band’s ‘90s classic Alien Lanes. Let's hope it matches it in quality too. On Guided By Voices Inc.
Vinyl LP £23.49 GBVI91
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I've moaned and whinged and bleated about seemingly every Guided By Voices album since August By Cake and before that album I moaned about Cool Planet, Please Be Honest and much of Robert Pollard's solo albums. But credit where it's due, Warp and Woof is a return to the sound that I loved them so much for on albums like Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes. Where 2019's previous album (yup it is only April and we're already talking 'other' 2019 albums) Zeppelin Over China was a hard slog through a kind of monochrome type of sludge rock, Warp & Woof is a much more varied effort and it again sounds like the band are having fun. Each song lasts not much more than a couple of minutes at most and they manage to say all they need to within those two minutes.
I've spent most of the week listening to 'Angelic Weirdness' over and over. This is the GBV I like - strange chords, incredible melodies, eccentric arrangements. Pollard's voice is light and airy and he's at his most inspired both lyrically and melodically as he has been for some time. 'Cohesive Scoops' (that title) is a supreme piece of jangle pop that could have fitted easy enough onto Alien Lanes and is over in 90 seconds.
The overthinking part of my brain is trying to work out why, all of a sudden, do we have a decent Guided By Voices record? There could be simple reasons like the fact that it was recorded out on the road in various places so has a much broader variation in sound, that being a touring band has inspired them, that making lots of short songs has prevented some of their recent rock indulgence. Or it could simply be that Guided By Voices just record Robert Pollard's latest set of songs regardless of quality and he just happens to have come up with a good set this time. Of the 24 songs here there's still plenty to skip but there's a much greater ratio of good than dud than for a long time and finally, finally I have reconnected with the band I've loved for so long.
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