Universal Truths and Cycles

Just like the 1960's British Invasion that unleashed records at a breakneck speed until Americans were drowning in vinyl, Guided by Voices leader Robert Pollard is determined to over-saturate the market all by himself. In the last twelve years the band has released thirteen albums (three live). After their last two albums of new material were commanded by outside producers — Do the Collapse (1999) by Ric Ocasek, Isolation Drills (2001) by Rob Schnapf — GBV are self-produced once again and simultaneously looser and sharper as a result. Pollard thrives on shifting in and out of focus at will. His melodies and harmonies recall mid-Sixties pop, his rhythms and attack rip straight from late-Seventies New Wave punk. Yet, while the tone is familiar, the songs warp together as a dadaist manifesto. "Christian Animation Torch Carriers" and "Father Sgt. Christmas Card" might not be concepts to take literally, but they hum together naturally.