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Guided By Voices

It's Not Them, It Could Be Them It Is Them!

    It’s been just a few months since Guided By Voice’s faux rock opera Earth Man Blues garnered four-star and five-star reviews, with Rolling Stone proclaiming that it “squarely hits all the marks that make Guided By Voices great - again and again and again.”

    “Again and again and again”, is perhaps GBV’s credo, with Robert Pollard’s never-ending supply of fascinating and supremely catchy rock. Just when one thinks one’s got them pinned down, album number thirty-four opens with bizarre percussion, mariachi trumpets, strings and acoustic guitar. The adventurous spirit pervades yet another killer album from the greatest and most versatile GBV line-up. The golden boys (Doug Gillard, Bobby Bare Jr, Mark Shue, Kevin March) can do no wrong.

    Hooky singles “My (Limited) Engagement”, “High In The Rain” and “Dance of Gurus” intermingle with occasionally dark lyrics and the oddest of GBV oddballs, the ridiculous “Razor Bug”, “Psycho House”, and the “Maintenance Man Of The Haunted House”. The horns and strings return intermittently, with “The Bells Get Out Of The Way” going full Burt Bacharach. It’s Not Them. It Couldn’t Be Them. It Is Them! is a creative tourde- force full of surprises from the most prolific and captivating band on the planet.


    1. Spanish Coin
    2. High In The Rain
    3. Dance Of Gurus
    4. Flying Without A License
    5. Psycho House
    6. Maintenance Man Of The Haunted House
    7. I Share A Rhythm 8. Razor Bug
    9. I Wanna Monkey
    10. Cherub And The Great Child Actor
    11. Black And White Eyes In A Prism
    12. People Need Holes
    13. The Bell Gets Out Of The Way
    14. Chain Gang Island
    15. My (Limited) Engagement

    Guided By Voices

    Earth Man Blues

      Is it really a musical?! The 33rd Guided By Voices album, Earth Man Blues, is a magical cinematic rock album, full of dramatic and surreal twists and turns. Lyrics and liner notes trace the growth of young Harold Admore Harold through a coming of age and a reckoning with darkness. Vivid scenes appear: snapshots of youth, fantastical nightmares, unknown worlds.

      The music hasn’t softened a bit. One will hear the impossibly perfect melodies and word play that you expect from Robert Pollard, with the band playing at peak-heavy. “Trust Them Now” rocks like an instant classic, “The Batman Sees The Ball” is lean, mean rock muscle. Opener “Made Man” tears and slashes at the ears and heart. Sweeping, colossal tracks like “Lights Out (In Memphis, Egypt)” and “Dirty Kid School” stretch far beyond the ordinary vocabulary of rock.

      Doug Gillard’s brilliant guitar playing explodes out of the speakers. The rhythm section of Kevin March and Mark Shue, always strong and reliable, has grown into a breathing composite organism. Along with Bobby Bare, Jr on rhythm guitar, they drive the songs and make one’s head shake. Producer Travis Harrison ties the talents of the band together, once again recorded remotely and individually, pandemic-style. This group brings to life the sounds in Pollard’s technicolor imagination.


      Barry says: 33 albums, I mean really now. I would be livid if Earth Man Blues wasn't such a brilliantly constructed and fiery distillation of everything they've done up to now. Hints of psychedelia, fuzzy garage and most of all, stunning power-pop a-la Grandaddy or Weezer. A brilliantly varied and hugely enjoyable listen. If they keep coming like this, then for the love of god i'll keep listening.


      1. Made Man
      2. The Disconnected Citizen
      3. The Batman Sees The Ball
      4. Dirty Kid School
      5. Trust Them Now
      6. Lights Out In Memphis (Egypt)
      7. Free Agents
      8. Sunshine Girl Hello
      9. Wave Starter
      10. Any Repellent
      11. Margaret Middle School
      12. I Bet Hippy
      13. Test Pilot
      14. How Can A Plumb Be Perfected?
      15. Child's Play

      Guided By Voices

      Propeller - Reissue

        Propeller was the fifth album by Guided By Voices, and was intended to be the group’s last. Released as a limited edition of 500 LPs in 1992, the album featured handmade covers and blank labels to keep expenses as low as possible. Their other albums hadn’t sold much, why would this one? Robert Pollard had a family to support and his musical aspirations had not exactly been a boon to their bank account.

        As fate would have it, the band wound up releasing an album chock full of gems Pollard had stockpiled, and for the first time sounded distinctly like the band that fans have since come to love. Propeller also marks the return of Tobin Sprout to the GBV fold, along with an increased songwriting presence. From anthem-to-be “Over the Neptune” to the effortless melodies of closer “On the Tundra,” Propeller is a hell of a ride, and remains one of the most important albums in the band’s discography. The vinyl edition has been out of print for a decade, and features different cover art than previous pressings. The CD edition has been out of print for a minute as well, and is now housed in digipak format, also with a new, unique cover from one of the original pressings.


        1. Over The Neptune / Mesh Gear Fox
        2. Weedking
        3. Particular Damaged
        4. Quality Of Armor
        5. Metal Mothers
        6. Lethargy
        7. Unleashed! The Large-Hearted Boy
        8. Red Gas Circle
        9. Exit Flagger
        10. 14 Cheerleader Coldfront
        11. Back To Saturn X Radio Report
        12. Ergo Space Pig
        13. Some Drilling Implied
        14. On The Tundra

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