Remember back in the mid ‘80s when practically every R&B and Pop record released seemed to be performed or written by Prince? From his own albums and singles to songs by The Bangles, The Times, Cyndi Lauper, Vanity 6, The Three O’Clock, Sheena Easton and Sinead O’Connor, Prince was everywhere. It seemed as if he was the most prolific musician and songwriter in the world for at least the second half of the ‘80s… Well, folks, indie singer/songwriter Robert Pollard’s mega prolific output over the years makes Prince look like a lazy bastard! But unlike Prince, the fruits of Pollard’s insane work ethic is not locked up in a dark vault somewhere, never to be heard by the public. In fact, just the opposite – Pollard has released hundreds of songs under his own name as well as under the names of the many side projects he’s been involved with including Circus Devils, Boston Spaceships, Ricked Wicky, Phantom Tollbooth, Teenage Guitar, and, most importantly, Guided By Voices.
In fact, thirty-one years after their debut album, Guided By Voices has released one of their most consistent albums to date. SPACE GUN is an album that was created from Rock ‘n’ Roll’s DNA with influences spanning every decade since the ‘50s. How Pollard can be so prolific yet continue to write delicious Pop gems for three decades is pretty astounding. And outstanding. The album’s gritty indie edge is smoothed out by a playful attitude, tasteful arrangements and a bucketful of catchy hooks. Imagine if Blur existed in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s, kicked Damon out and replaced him with David Bowie… and then went and jammed for the next forty years in a dark garage in Pennsylvania while listening to nothing but The Beatles, The Feelies and XTC. If none of that makes sense to you now, then you need to hear SPACE GUN. At that point, all of this will fall into place. This is quirky, bash-n-crash Pop with melodies that will stick in your head for days. Simply divine.
The band insists that SPACE GUN will be their only new studio album in 2018. If that is true, at least they’ve left us with 15 GBV tunes to chew on until they deliver their next platter. We know that Robert Pollard will resurface with a new project within the next few weeks but until then, SPACE GUN is as good as Indie Pop is going to get. So get it.
Keep on truckin’,
Stephen SPAZ Schnee
Stephen SPAZ Schnee
GUIDED BY VOICES