Guided by Voices at Metro | Concert preview
Indie forefathers return with three new albums and plenty of high kicks.
What’s that you say? Another three-hour GBV marathon featuring Robert “high kicks” Pollard swilling from a liter of dime-store vodka? Yes, please. The low-fi giant is nothing if not prolific, releasing nearly one record per year in its heyday from 1987 to 2004, only taking a breather to, well, break up, before reforming for a string of nostalgia shows a few years ago. True to its roots, the reunited indie forerunner—boasting the classic lineup of frontman Pollard, guitarists Tobin Sprout and Mitch Mitchell, bassist Greg Demos and drummer Kevin Fennell—is aiming to release three albums this year alone.
Let’s Go Eat the Factory, released in January, and June follow-up Class Clown Spots a UFO were largely recorded in the garages of band members back in Ohio. The latter offers 21 tracks, all less than four minutes, from the anthemic butt rock of “Blue Babbleships Bay” to toe-tapper “Keep It in Motion,” plus schmaltzy interludes such as “Lost in Spaces.” The title track boasts all the hand claps and pretty harmonies we’ve come to expect from Pollard. When the Dayton rocker belts out “Be what you are / Be impeccable / The untrackable star/ I’ll shine my flashlight to where you are,” on “Be Impeccable,” how can we do anything but revel in the band’s return?
As if he weren’t busy enough, Grandpa Pollard—not a knock, he chats about his grandkids onstage—is still generating solo material. So long as four-track recorders are still out there, he’ll always have more tunes to put to tape.