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GUIDED BY VOICES

Guided By Voices

Tonics And Twisted Chasers - 2024 Reissue

    Originally released in 1996 as a limited fan-club pressing for Rockathon, Guided By Voices’ Tonics And Twisted Chasers has always existed as an anomaly in Robert Pollard’s vast discography. In many ways, the album serves as the tail of a creative comet that in just two years included the “classic line-up” trilogy of Bee Thousand, Alien Lanes, Under the Bushes, Under the Stars and countless singles that crammed endless hooks in their grooves. In the intervening space, Tonics And Twisted Chasers has taken on a mythic status. It’s arguably Pollard’s strangest, gnarliest, most enlightened record and also the fans first chance to see the stitches that bind his galaxy of songs. It’s like peering at the caliber inside a watch, responsible for making the whole enterprise tick.

    This nineteen-song collaboration with guitarist Tobin Sprout could be interpreted as spontaneous sketches, late-night improvisations, ideas that blossomed later in the timeline (“Knock ’Em Flyin’” and “Key Losers”), but as with anything in Pollard’s orbit, its intention is clear when heard as a cohesive whole. The Pollard tenet that “less is more” is on full display here. The songs rarely creep past ninety seconds and coalesce much like Pollard’s collage-styled visual art. Arena anthems in miniature (“158 Years Of Beautiful Sex”) bash up against eerie piano laments (“Universal Nurse Finger”) without any time to breathe, acoustic lullabies that sound like a Midwestern summer’s twilight (“Look It’s Baseball”) segue into monochromatic post-rock (“Maxwell Jump”). The euphoric joy and obtuse melancholy in Pollard’s voice is so palpable on the album’s standout, “Dayton, Ohio 19 Something & 5” (which has since become a live staple), that it’s impossible to find a more autobiographical yarn in his catalog.

    The album’s closest analog is 1993’s Vampire On Titus, as it contains that album’s prickly, dark and shimmering obfuscation that only reveals its beauty after repeated listens. Tonics And Twisted Chasers maintains the lore because the melodies are so strong. Using a primitive drum machine, Radio Shack effects, minimal instrumentation and the DIY spirit that guided them in the first place, Pollard and Sprout constructed a masterpiece of pop that could only come from a basement in north Dayton, Ohio. Anyone in that hallowed era who happened upon it, kept it as a secret.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Satellite
    2. Dayton, Ohio-19 Something And 5
    3. Is She Ever?
    4. My Thoughts Are A Gas (Fucked Up Version)
    5. Knock ’Em Flyin’
    6. The Top Chick’s Silver Chord
    7. Key Losers
    8. Ha Ha Man
    9. Wingtip Repair
    10. At The Farms
    11. Unbaited Vicar Of Scorched Earth
    12. Optional Bases Opposed
    13. Look, It’s Baseball!
    14. Maxwell Jump
    15. The Stir-Crazy Pornographer
    16. 158 Years Of Beautiful Sex
    17. Universal Nurse Finger
    18. Sadness Is To End
    19. Reptilian Beauty Secrets

    Guided By Voices

    Strut Of Kings

      Building on forty years years of GBV history, the majestic and triumphant Strut Of Kings is the forty-first album by indie rock royalty Guided By Voices. Largely recorded in Kings County, New York (Brooklyn), the album is perhaps a gesture towards the malevolent “kings” on the world stage. As the “Serene King” waltzes across the battlefield, Emperor Pollard evokes castles, King Kong and strutting roosters, a surreal yet regal journey.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Show Me The Castle
      2. Dear Onion
      3. This Will Go On
      4. Fictional Environment Dream
      5. Olympus Cock In Radiana
      6. Leaving Umbrella
      7. Cavemen Running Naked
      8. Timing Voice
      9. Bit Of A Crunch
      10. Serene King
      11. Bicycle Garden

      Guided By Voices

      Same Place The Fly Got Smashed - 2024 Reissue

        Originally released in 1990, 'Same Place The Fly Got Smashed' was Guided By Voices’ fourth album in as many years. Roughly a concept album about an alcoholic named Joker Bob who goes on a bender, someone dies, and Bob gets the chair (“the electrifying conclusion”). From the moment the needle drops, the listener is served notice that this isn’t going to be an easy listen, as an argument taped off of a TV cuts to a basement recording of a lone, blaring electric guitar with someone yelling over the top. But for those brave enough to pass the opening hazards, there are wonders within.

        This particular album has come to be held in higher and higher regard by fans, and they are correct to consider it a top-tier release. The story and sequence have a flow, and consideration for approachability is optional. Many of the crudest tracks reveal themselves as necessary stitches in the album’s tapestry. Yet it also contains all time greats like “Drinker’s Peace,” “Mammoth Cave,” the epic “Local Mix-Up/ Murder Charge,” and of course “Pendulum” with its immortal opening line: “Come on over tonight, we’ll put on some Cat Butt and do it up right!”—a rare break in the clouds on one of the band’s darkest albums.

        This reissue, like the previous ones in this series, is a mostly faithful reproduction of the original pressing of 500 on the band’s own Rocket #9 label. And like the others, the virgin RTI vinyl is housed in a thick tip-on jacket, and includes Robert Pollard’s original handwritten lyric insert.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Airshow ‘88
        2. Order For The New Slave Trade
        3. The Hard Way
        4. Drinker’s Peace
        5. Mammoth Cave
        6. When She Turns 50
        7. Club Molluska
        8. Pendulum
        9. Ambergris
        10. Local Mix-Up
        11. Murder Charge
        12. Starboy
        13. Blatant Doom Trip
        14. How Loft I Am?

        Guided By Voices

        Nowhere To Go But Up

          This record is massive and amazing. Nowhere To Go But Up is Guided By Voices’ third album of 2023 (and thirty-ninth overall) and is a sprawling, wild adventure. With virtually no choruses and just two repeated lyrics in forty minutes, GBV is audacious and unafraid.

          One of the most fully realized works that Guided By Voices has created, Nowhere To Go But Up showcases an expert rock band at the top of their game. The band is on a roll and unstoppable.

          Following their monumental 40th Anniversary Celebration in Dayton, Ohio, GBV begins their fifth decade with a bang!

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: You'd think that by an artists THIRTY NINTH album, they'd have a struggle coming up with the goods, but Pollard & co have once again crafted a beautifully psychedelic blast of epic proportions. It's got tons of heft, and packed to the brim with melody too.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. The Race Is On, The King Is Dead
          2. Puncher's Parade
          3. Local Master Airplane
          4. How Did He Get Up There?
          5. Stabbing At Fractions
          6. Love Set
          7. We're Going The Wrong Way In
          8. Jack Of Legs
          9. For The Home
          10. Cruel For Rats
          11. Song And Dance

          Guided By Voices

          Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia - 2023 Reissue

            Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia was Guided By Voices’ third album, self-released by the band in 1988 in a pressing of 500. While both of the band’s earlier albums exhibit strong songwriting and plenty of vision, it is here that the GBV sound really begins to coalesce. While Devil Between My Toes is rife with contrasts, variety, and dark psychedelia, and its follow up Sandbox is a cohesive ’60s-influenced affair, Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia marries the two approaches to outstanding effect.

            Unsurprisingly, recording began before Sandbox was even done pressing. These sessions would yield an aborted LP titled Learning To Hunt, but after personnel changes and second thoughts, Robert Pollard shelved most of the tracks, dismissing them as too similar to those on Sandbox. Fair enough, as many of Pollard’s more recent songs were simply on another level than previously. Here are the first of the classic Pollard slow-burners, often built on a simple melodic or rhythmic figure that circles itself ever outward, accumulating heft, variation, and inevitability as the song evolves into something unexpected yet inevitable. It’s the aural equivalent to watching a butterfly grow out of its cocoon.

            A few things are unique to this particular LP. Original powerhouse drummer Peyton Eric returns for nearly half the tracks, while engineer and lead guitarist Steve Wilbur shines at his brightest, resulting in some of the most thoroughly rocking GBV songs to ever be cut to lacquer, such as “Earful o’ Wax,” which simply explodes out of the speakers when the solo section begins. On the other end of the spectrum, you get Pollard recording perfect pop gems at home with just voice and guitar, which would become a calling card on later GBV albums. There’s simply a tremendous variety of material, all strung together in such a way that the album is all of one piece, a mosaic.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. The Future Is In Eggs
            2. The Great Blake Street Canoe Race
            3. Slopes Of Big Ugly
            4. Paper Girl
            5. Navigating Flood Regions
            6. An Earful O’ Wax
            7. White Whale
            8. Trampoline
            9. Short On Posters
            10. Chief Barrel Belly
            11. Dying To Try This
            12. The Qualifying Remainder
            13. Liar’s Tale
            14. Radio Show (Trust The Wizard)

            Guided By Voices

            La La Land

              La La Land doubles down on the intricate proggy-pop displayed on Guided By Voices’s last album Tremblers And Goggles By Rank. On a hot streak of critical acclaim, Robert Pollard continues expanding his songwriting towards extremes of prettiness, heaviness and poeticism. As always, unforgettable hooks are everywhere. But with this latest, it seems Pollard is playing with the extremes of his abilities as a songwriter, emboldened by the power of this lineup now on their fourteenth album together since 2017. The prettiest stuff is prettier than ever (“Queen Of Spaces”) and odder, more complex songs like “Slowly On The Wheel” combine minimalism, whimsy, and cinematic inclinations. There are the exquisite power pop bangers that fans come to expect like “Ballroom Etiquette” and “Pockets.” Tracks like “Instinct Dwelling” and “Caution Song” effortlessly display a cranked-up weight and complexity most bands could never muster. Celebrating forty years in 2023 with their thirty-eighth album, GBV has lately been garnering rave reviews from Rolling Stone, Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, Uncut, MOJO, Shindig, Paste, Popmatters, The Quietus and many more.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. Released Into Dementia
              2. Ballroom Etiquette
              3. Instinct Dwelling
              4. Queen Of Spaces
              5. Slowly On The Wheel
              6. Cousin Jackie
              7. Wild Kingdom
              8. Caution Song
              9. Face Eraser
              10. Pockets

              Guided By Voices

              Tremblers And Goggles By Rank

                Tremblers And Goggles By Rank marks a new phase in Robert Pollard’s songwriting evolution. His songs have always included non-traditional approaches to form and song structure, but with this album, he has pushed it further than ever. While the familiar Guided By Voices pop-craft and melodic virtuosity always occupies center stage, the first-time listener will never be able to predict what’s coming next in a song.

                “Alex Bell” and “Focus On The Flock” are the two anchors, each one expansive and filled with rock grandeur, and both exemplifying the complex wordplay, melodies, and structures that are hallmarks of the album.

                GBV’s latest batch of brilliant songs ride on colorful psychedelic flourishes and brash post-punk textures that make this ten-song album a one-of-a-kind head trip.

                While there are hooks and earworms aplenty within, this album is a complex and kaleidoscopic journey, representing a new echelon in the Guided By Voices universe. It represents another level of songwriting and performance from the group. It plays out like an intricate and powerful collage, in a very multicolored and multi-faceted fashion; a work grand in scale and undertaking.

                There are triumphant and glorious choruses, deep and dark wormholes, sinewy twists and turns, bold and theatrical bravados, massive cliffs, plateaus, peaks, and valleys - these emotional landscapes reach new and unexpected heights along the way.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Lizard On The Red Brick Wall
                2. Alex Bell
                3. Unproductive Funk
                4. Roosevelt's Marching Band
                5. Goggles By Rank
                6. Cartoon Fashion (Bongo Lake)
                7. Boomerang
                8. Focus On The Flock
                9. Puzzle Two
                10. Who Wants To Go Hunting?

                Robert Pollard

                Our Gaze

                  On Oct 9, 2007, Robert Pollard simultaneously released two albums on Merge Records: Standard Gargoyle Decisions and Coast To Coast Carpet Of Love. Both now out of print, Pollard has reimagined and condensed the two as Our Gaze, a single fifteen song album. Because it’s better.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. The Killers
                  2. Pill Gone Girl
                  3. Count Us In
                  4. The Island Lobby
                  5. Rud Fins
                  6. Current Desperation
                  (Angels Speak Of Nothing)
                  7. Hero Blows The Revolution
                  8. Come Here Beautiful
                  9. Shadow Port
                  10. Miles Under The Skin
                  11. Folded Claws
                  12. Feel Not Crushed
                  13. Youth Leagues
                  14. When We Were Slaves
                  15. Our Gaze

                  Guided By Voices

                  Isolation Drills - 2021 Reissue

                    Originally released in 2001, Isolation Drills is the twelfth album by Dayton, Ohio indie rock group Guided by Voices. It was their second and final LP released under TVT Records and their second to feature producer in Rob Schnapf. The album notably features instrumental contributions from Elliott Smith and David Sulzer. This special 20th Anniversary Edition has been remastered and it is included on double gatefold vinyl for the first time. The packaging mirrors the original foldout design from the limited cd digipak.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    Disc: 1
                    1. Sister I Need Wine
                    2. Fair Touching
                    3. Want One?
                    4. Skills Like This
                    5. The Enemy
                    6. Chasing Heather Crazy
                    7. Unspirited
                    8. Frostman
                    9. Twilight Campfighter

                    Disc: 2
                    1. How's My Drinking?
                    2. Glad Girls
                    3. The Brides Have Hit Glass
                    4. Run Wild
                    5. Pivotal Film
                    6. Fine To See You
                    7. Privately

                    Guided By Voices

                    Under The Bushes Under The Stars

                      Guided By Voices’ long out-of-print ninth studio album repressed on vinyl - originally released in 1996 as the follow up to the breakthrough Alien Lanes, Under The Bushes Under The Stars further cemented GBV as one of rock music’s most lauded contributors

                      TRACK LISTING

                      Man Called Aerodynamics
                      Rhine Jive Click
                      Cut-Out Witch
                      Burning Flag Birthday Suit
                      The Official Ironmen Rally Song
                      To Remake The Young Flyer
                      No Sky
                      Bright Paper Werewolves
                      Lord Of Overstock
                      Your Name Is Wild
                      Ghosts Of A Different Dream
                      Acorns & Orioles
                      Look At Them
                      The Perfect Life
                      Underwater Explosions
                      Atom Eyes
                      Don't Stop Now
                      Office Of Hearts
                      Big Boring Wedding
                      It's Like Soul Man
                      Drag Days
                      Sheetkickers
                      Redmen And Their Wives
                      Take To The Sky

                      Guided By Voices

                      Half Smiles Of The Decomposed

                        The final Matador album from Dayton, Ohio’s legendary geniuses Guided By Voices which, at the time, was set to be their last ever. After twenty- odd years, twenty-odd line ups and twenty-odd albums, EPs, singles, triples, stolen bases, misdemeanour convictions and broken hearts, Dayton’s fortunate sons took a leave of absence only to re-emerge in 2010 at a certain label’s 21st birthday celebrations in Las Vegas. Back in print for the first time since 2008!

                        TRACK LISTING

                        Everyone Thinks I’m A
                        Raincloud (When I’m Not
                        Looking)
                        Sleep Over Jack
                        Girls Of Wild
                        Strawberries
                        Gonna Never Have To Die
                        Window Of My World
                        Closets Of Henry
                        Tour Guide At Winston
                        Churchill Memorial
                        Asia Minor
                        Sons Of Apollo
                        Sing For Your Meat
                        Asphyxiated Circle
                        A Second Spurt Of
                        Growth
                        (S)Mothering And
                        Coaching
                        Huffman Prairie Flying

                        Guided By Voices

                        Human Amusements At Hourly Rates

                          Specially priced thirty-two track "Best Of…" compiled by Guided By Voices mainman Bob Pollard. Pollard has recorded fourteen GBV albums, along with an idiosyncratic collection of solo records and side projects, to incredible critical acclaim. To help out the casual Guided By Voices fan, newbie, or even die-hard collector, GBV mainman Bob Pollard has lovingly compiled and sequenced the best songs from 1987 to 2003. Available at a price you can't refuse!


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