Guided By Voices CD EP review [Fading Captain Series]

Music Reviews
Guided By Voices CD EP review [Fading Captain Series]
Sep 17, 2002, 04:39

GUIDED BY VOICES The Pipe Dreams of Instant Prince Whippet CD EP

GBV floated back to Matador Records for the release of their excellent 2002 release Universal Truths &Cycles, but here comes an EP of GBV B-sides that didn't make the official-Matador-release cut as part of the Fading Captain Series, formerly the province of Robert Pollard side projects under various monikers (it's #24 in only a 3-year span for the series without even mentioning the output of his “official” day job, leaving the impression that Pollard is battling an addiction or staying out of the booby hatch by filling every waking moment in the recording studio). One has a vision of the Matador head office throwing up their hands in despair, realizing that they don't have all the resources to put out every worthwhile Pollard release. A quick listen to this EP reveals nothing earth moving, but a few spins later the melodies are stuck in the brain alongside other GBV stalwarts. Opener “Visit This Place” just might be the quintessential GBV song, an anthemic rocker with an arresting vocal line and sing-along chorus that could only slide to B-side status for a band that consistently stamps out assembly-line perfection. Elsewhere, there are lumbering neo-prog ponderings (“Actions Speak Volumes”), shards of rock songs (“Stronger Lizards”—this variety of shard has been seen on GBV releases of the last few years, and trends away from the shards of loosely-assembled plinks and strums heard here and there on older material), and spritely-contrived pop (title track). This isn't the first place to start for newbies, nor is it a cumbersome afterthought for fetishists only; it's 23 more minutes of excellence. Keep on keepin' on. [Fading Captain Series]

-Bo Pogue

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