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coverpic flag US - Ohio - Full Moon 192 - 05/06/12

Guided By Voices
Let's Go Eat The Factory
GBV Inc.

Guided By Voices (GBV) disbanded in 2004 after some 20 years in 'the biz' (well, rather in the biz' basement, or garage...). Then, in 2010 the band reunited their "classic line-up" for Matador Records' 21st anniversary party. And a US tour followed... And a world tour followed... Of course Robert Pollard - the hardest working songwriter in rock'n'roll - and his partners (the hardest working beer drinkers in rock'n'roll) simply had to return with a new record. Hey, wait! New records: Let's Go Eat The Factory was released some months ago, on January 1st. And, showing more creativity and productivity than ever, a follow-up is already ready! Class Clown Spots A UFO is due in June (postponed from May due to the success of their comeback album). Hey wait, again!! There are rumours for yet another platter; Bears for Lunch, is said to be due in November. Can you believe it? Three albums in a year. PLUS, to complete the story: Robert Pollard put out a new solo album last month...

One of my first encounters with Guided by Voices came through The Breeders' cover of "Shocker in Gloomtown" (on the Head to Toe EP, 1994) - a song on heavy rotation in GBV's live sets, but not to be released until after) the Breeders' version (BTW; check out the video, showing The Breeders performing the song in a garage. Guess who's looking in through the windows...). A few weeks later that summer I bought GBV's landmark album Bee Thousand. And, speaking of The Breeders: Let's Go Eat The Factory is the first album by the 'classic GBV line-up' - Robert Pollard, guitarists Tobin Sprout and Mitch Mitchell, bassist Greg Demos, drummer Kevin Fennell, plus additional player, earlier member Jimmy Pollard - since Under the Bushes Under the Stars, which had Kim Deal as one of many producers...

Let's Go Eat The Factory presents 21 songs in 42 minutes, which is typical GBV. Instant songs, lasting 2 minutes or less. Lo-fi (or mid-fi, as the GBV site states) is still their aesthetic, philosophy, and signature. Homemade, home-grown, DIY, you name it. Inspired by fuzzy, psychedelic garage rock (the Brits of the 60s), pop sike, punk pop, etc. Anyway, Let's Go Eat... shows a potent GBV, smashing and serving a great handful of excellent power pop, or many-flavoured and multicoloured pop GBV style to their listeners. From the starter "Laundry And Lasers" and on, the band sounds remarkably young and fresh. "The Head" is an instant GBV classic. It's a little raw rock gem, clocking in at 1'11". Why complicate things. Of course the quality varies (like it's always been with GBV), but the overall level is indeed very good. This because the repertoire is all over the scale: from tougher, quicker rock tracks (such as the aforementioned "The Head"), to softer, calmer ballads, such as "Hang Mr. Kite" and "Who Invented The Sun". One of the good things with GBV is that even their mere sketches, or what sounds like unfinished/half-finished pieces of songs are way cool. In my ears I often hear a strange mixture of Daniel Johnston and The Kinks. Let's Go Eat The Factory is simply a triumphant return by GBV. Other gems worth mentioning: "The Unsinkable Fats Domino", "Imperial Racehorsing", "Waves", "Chocolate Boy", "Either Nelson", and the closing "We Won't Apologize For The Human Race".

PS! In addition to the GBV catalogue, you can try to count all of Pollard's solo albums, Sprout's solo albums, plus all other members solo stuff, or other GBV related projects, such as Circus Devils, Boston Spaceships, Acid Ranch, Airport 5, Bevil Web, Cobra Verde, eyesinweasel, Hazzard Hotrods, Howling Wolf Orchestra, Lexo and the Leapers, Lifeguards, Phantom Tollbooth, Psycho And The Birds, Terrifying Experience, The Takeovers, We've Got Airplanes!, ...... The list very is long. Don't go wild, or get lost. DS!

Copyright © 2012 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Guided By Voices articles/reviews: Half Smiles of the Decomposed, Mag Earwhig!, The Charlotte, Leicester, UK, 28.09.03.

© 2012 Luna Kafé