Your basket is empty

Categories :

Similar artists

Albums

From
HI-RES€14.49
CD€9.99

Alternative & Indie - Released December 11, 2020 | GBV Inc

Hi-Res
With the release of Styles We Paid For, Robert Pollard delivers an improbable second consecutive hat trick, capping off another banner year with Guided By Voices' third LP of 2020. And why not? It's hard to imagine an artist better suited to capitalizing on a year of enforced lockdown than Pollard, especially when his productivity was already through the roof. That after 2019's bounty the indie rock titans already had enough quality material in the tank to trot out two more full-lengths during a global pandemic was an impressive feat, and Styles We Paid For is no slouch of a record, especially given that it was completed in quarantine with the band members trading files from their respective home studios. Originally envisioned as an entirely analog set called Before Computers, Pollard and bandmates Doug Gillard (guitar), Bobby Bare Jr. (guitar), Mark Shue (bass), and Kevin March (drums) gamely readjusted their approach to suit the times and continued their hot streak with another reliably solid latter day release. From the mighty Trump-baiting opener "Megaphone Riley" and multi-part indie-prog suite "Endless Seafood" to the irresistibly hooky "Crash at Lake Placebo," GBV hit their marks again and again despite never setting eyes on each other during the process. The album's cohesion can be attributed in no small part to producer/mixing engineer Travis Harrison, whose final assemblage sounds surprisingly organic and even spontaneous. Whatever face-to-face interplay the group missed out on, they more than make up for in interesting parts and lively takes. The wily "Liquid Kid," another multi-sectioned standout, surges into a thrilling conclusion, while dirgey closer, "When Growing Was Simple," hammers out a scuzzy pulse over which Pollard grumbles phrases about fourth grade, cleats, and staying home to eat. It's surprising that on GBV's sixth album in two years, they would have anything more to say, but Pollard's signature art form is abstract enough to play out like one unending algorithm of exciting word jumble peppered with zeitgeist-speak and occasional bursts of meaning. © Timothy Monger /TiVo
From
HI-RES€14.49
CD€9.99

Alternative & Indie - Released April 30, 2021 | GBV Inc

Hi-Res
Prolific output has always been a component of Guided by Voices' charm, but during the phase that began around 2012's Let's Go Eat the Factory, the band kicked into overdrive like never before. Since that point, it wasn't uncommon for a single calendar year to see two or three full-length GbV albums, and 33rd studio album Earth Man Blues comes just months after 2020's Styles We Paid For (already the band's third album of that year). Despite this unending stream of new material, the band shows no signs of diluting creativity, and the 15 songs on Earth Man Blues find songwriter Bob Pollard exploring the weirder corners of his mind in between delivering more straightforward power pop bangers. Album-opener "Made Man" starts out with energetic, crunchy guitars and one of Pollard's signature soaring melodies, but at the 44-second mark, the rock & roll elements disappear completely as the song takes an abrupt turn into full-on orchestral instrumentation. It's a bizarre and twisting way to start the album, and the song is over before 90 seconds pass. From there, Earth Man Blues splits fairly evenly between melodic rock and outlandish experiments. Tunes like "Trust Them Now" and "Margaret Middle School" are driving but catchy, with detailed arrangement touches like harmonizing guitar leads. Jangly midtempo rocker "The Disconnected Citizen" builds on acoustic guitars and Pollard's melancholic vocal melodies before introducing understated strings. It's the type of song that only Guided by Voices could actualize, pairing sentimentality and weathered but surefooted rock energy in perfect balance. The stranger side of the album is far less concerned with balance, with "Sunshine Girl Hello" quickly jumping from shuffling verses to a noisy psychedelic outro, and songs like "Lights Out in Memphis" exploring theatrical prog moments, robotic synth instrumentation, and Pollard's ever-surreal sci-fi lyricism. At times, the diverse shifts of Earth Man Blues feel like a cyborg re-envisionment of The Who Sell Out, with moments like the a cappella intro of "Dirty Kid School" or the song-to-song genre-bending recalling that album's rapid shifting. Earth Man Blues stands out slightly from the several records that came before it, for both its abundance of hooks and its tendency to take the songs even further off the deep end. As with most GbV albums, it's a wonderfully bizarre and occasionally disarming ride through warped thoughts and cracked beauty. © Fred Thomas /TiVo
From
HI-RES€14.49
CD€9.99

Alternative & Indie - Released August 21, 2020 | GBV Inc

Hi-Res
From
CD€13.99

Alternative & Indie - Released April 4, 1995 | Matador

From
CD€9.99

Alternative & Indie - Released June 1, 2005 | Scat

From
CD€13.99

Alternative & Indie - Released March 26, 1996 | Matador

After firmly establishing themselves as America's most original and interesting band of part-time, over-30 garage rockers, Under the Bushes Under the Stars found Guided by Voices dipping their toes into something resembling professionalism. Leaving behind the homemade studio craft of their previous work, this album was recorded in a pair of actual recording studios, and the sessions boasted an outside producer (friend and temporary fellow Ohioan Kim Deal); while no one would mistake the results for the latest Bob Rock project, the set sounded more like a "real" record than anything GBV had attempted up to that time. The new edition of the band attempted to rise to the occasion, and though the performances lack the passion of Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes' finest moments, the stronger playing and cleaner production honors the pop sensibilities of Robert Pollard's songwriting. Pollard was also reaching for a better controlled style as a songwriter; Under the Bushes Under the Stars boats a mere 18 songs (as opposed to the 30 on Alien Lanes), and most sound like full fledged pop tunes, with fewer shards of musical fancy littering the way. While Pollard's tighter reign over the band and new sense of self-control made this album a more solid and consistent album than GBV had made in the past, it's also not as exciting as Alien Lanes; Pollard's songs lack a certain fire here (though "Man Called Aerodynamics," "Your Name Is Wild," and "The Official Ironmen Rally Song" sound just fine), and the band sounds more stifled than enthused by their new grasp of the material. There's plenty to enjoy here, but it also appeared to have caught Guided by Voices in a transitional stage; just how much they were changing would be revealed on their next two albums. © Mark Deming /TiVo
From
CD€13.99

Alternative & Indie - Released November 3, 2003 | Matador

From
HI-RES€14.49
CD€9.99

Alternative & Indie - Released February 20, 2020 | GBV Inc

Hi-Res
From
CD€9.99

Alternative & Indie - Released April 3, 2001 | The Orchard

From
CD€13.99

Alternative & Indie - Released May 20, 1997 | Matador

After Bee Thousand gave Guided By Voices a wider audience, it became evident that Robert Pollard saw himself as more than just the band's songwriter and frontman, and as his career ambitions grew, he became increasingly frustrated with the limitations of his band. Matters came to a head prior to the recording of Mag Earwhig! as Pollard broke ties with longtime guitarist and fellow songwriter Tobin Sprout and fired the rest of the group. While Pollard and Sprout soon buried the hatchet, Sprout opted not to stay on as a full-time member of the group, and Pollard was now Guided By Voices' uncontested leader. He hired Cleveland-based blues/garage rockers Cobra Verde as his backing band for the next GBV album, and Mag Earwhig! sounded a good bit different as a result; while there were a few stray four-track experiments with Sprout scattered about, most of the album had a solid, professional sheen, and Cobra Verde rock harder and sound tighter than any of the lineups Pollard had worked with in the past. Unfortunately, his songwriting wasn't quite up to his usual standards, which the new clarity of this album makes all the more evident. Pollard is incapable of making an album without a few fine songs, and "Bulldog Skin," "Sad If I Lost It," "Not Behind the Fighter Jet," and "Portable Men's Society" certainly fill the bill, but it may well be significant that Mag Earwhig!'s most exciting song, the joyous "I Am a Tree," was written by Cobra Verde's Doug Gillard. While there's plenty to enjoy here, Robert Pollard's next experiment in hi-fi record making, Do the Collapse, would prove to be much more successful. © Mark Deming /TiVo
From
CD€10.99

Rock - Released August 3, 1999 | The Orchard

From
CD€9.99

Alternative & Indie - Released November 5, 1996 | Scat

From
CD€13.99

Alternative & Indie - Released August 24, 2004 | Matador

Ever since they first burst into the consciousness of indie rock fans across our great nation in 1994 with Bee Thousand, Guided by Voices seemed like one of those bands that was always going to be there for us, letting loose with a steady stream of albums, singles, EPs, live shows, and side projects that even devoted fans had trouble keeping up with. But in April of 2004, GBV commandant Robert Pollard announced that the band would be calling it quits at the end of that year, and that Half Smiles of the Decomposed would be their last album. Given its status as GBV's sort-of-official recorded farewell, Half Smiles of the Decomposed carries significantly more psychic weight than previous albums from the group, so it's a bit surprising that the results hardly equal a "typical" Guided by Voices CD. Comprised of a mere 14 songs in 42 minutes, half of which are over three minutes in length, Half Smiles of the Decomposed is a final departure from GBV's tradition of compact pop masterpieces, and while the production (by occasional keyboard player Todd Tobias) doesn't approach the slickness of Do the Collapse or Isolation Drills, this may be the polished and attentive "indie" album Pollard and GBV have ever made. And the songs appear to be reaching for an epic quality that goes beyond their length; Pollard's way with a melody is very much in evidence, but rather than going for simple blissful hookiness, this set approximates a homegrown version of the big-screen sweep of, say, The Who on Who's Next or Mott the Hoople on Mott. But even though Half Smiles of the Decomposed sounds great, the band plays with impressive skill, and it represents one of Pollard's most successful attempts to balance his lo-fi musical impulses against the demands of proper record production, it lacks the ineffable fire and energy that has always set their best work apart. In short, Half Smiles takes Guided by Voices to the edge of their musical possibilities, but instead of leading them to a final glorious victory, it just seems to stop at the end of the road. But then again, maybe this is really just where Robert Pollard picks up a ride to his next destination. © Mark Deming /TiVo
From
HI-RES€14.49
CD€9.99

Alternative & Indie - Released March 23, 2018 | GBV Inc

Hi-Res
From
CD€1.49

Alternative & Indie - Released November 14, 1995 | Matador

The Tigerbomb EP is six songs at 33 rpm (like the old early-'80s hardcore singles!). Again, Guided by Voices hit Refraze Studios to re-record and rethink two Alien Lanes tracks with better production. "My Valuable Hunting Knife" is much improved, restoring the more rocking, combative quality of the original version found on the live Crying Your Knife Away double LP, without changing the strange staccato, martial beat that the Alien Lanes version inserted. That wacka-beat is thickened though, and has more presence, and thus the big hook line of the verse once again shines through. The opposite is the case for the new look at "Game of Pricks" (along with "My Son Cool," that last LP's best track). Though still a great song, the flow of the lofty melody seems less natural in this arrangement; no point in tampering with perfection this time. But any new version is welcome. Of the four new songs, one more is recorded at Refraze: "Dodging Invisible Rays" shows that it's not the lo-fi approach that made this quintet great, it's the material and playing. This is one of those vaunted pop songs they seem to spit out like seeds from a watermelon, and truly benefits from the deeper stereophonic sound. The other three cuts return to the "I've got a silly idea, quick, let's record it at home" mode. "Mice Feel Nice (In My Room)" is another weird one in the vein of "Ex-Supermodel" (you know, the one with all the snoring on it), and "Not Good for the Mechanism" and "Kiss Only the Important Ones" are half-baked and never go anywhere but are both fun and funny anyway. In any case, the better-recorded tracks here make this 7" a strong addition to their ever-expanding catalog. © Jack Rabid /TiVo
From
CD€13.99

Alternative & Indie - Released August 19, 2003 | Matador

For those who love the idea of Guided By Voices a bit more than the reality, it's sometimes hard not to be frustrated with Robert Pollard, a scattershot genius who is equally well-defined by both halves of that description. GBV leader Pollard is a startlingly gifted and prolific songwriter and musician, but he also displays either an inability or a disinterest in separating his wheat from his chaff, as anyone who has tried to plow through his relentless barrage of side projects has doubtless noticed. Which is why Earthquake Glue is such a pleasant surprise -- it may well be the most consistent and satisfying Guided By Voices album to date, and if its potent rock crunch is bettered by 2001's superb Isolation Drills, this comes close enough to make any fan pummel his air guitar with glee. While the sharper focus and tight set list of Earthquake Glue is impressive, just as important is how good Guided By Voices sounds as a band these days; while usually regarded as little more than Pollard's backing group, this edition of GBV has become tight, emphatic, and joyously powerful after several years on the road and in the studio, with the guitars of Doug Gillard and Nate Farley and the rhythm section of Tim Tobias and Kevin March giving the tunes all the smarts and twice the muscle their creator could have hoped for. And while Earthquake Glue lacks the clunky lo-fi ambience of Bee Thousand or Alien Lanes, these songs suggest Pollard and his collaborators have been able to take the spontaneity and adventure of those tracks and graft them into a better structured and more satisfying framework. If Earthquake Glue isn't a masterpiece, it's as close as this band can be expected to get, and is the rare Guided By Voices effort that's imaginative enough for longtime loyalists and tight enough for dabblers at the same time. © Mark Deming /TiVo
From
CD€13.99

Alternative & Indie - Released June 18, 2002 | Matador

After leaving the comfy indie confines of Matador Records for the corporate sponsorship of bigger indie TVT Records, Robert Pollard and his partners in Guided by Voices abandoned the sloppy production that had long been their hallmark and starting playing on the same field as the big boys, which offended purists but also resulted in one of the band's best albums, 2001's Isolation Drills, which boasted a clean but potent production by Rob Schnapf. In 2002, Guided by Voices and TVT parted ways, and GBV's return to Matador, Universal Truths and Cycles, sounds like a case of two steps forward, one step back. Produced by the band with Todd Tobias in their humble home state of Ohio, Universal Truths and Cycles lacks the high sheen of Do the Collapse and Isolation Drills, but it also reveals a much sharper focus and precise musical attack than anything this band released prior to Mag Earwhig!, and if the production has a rougher surface, Pollard's ambition has certainly grown, with a tighter sound, more details, and even a well-placed string section on a few cuts. However, Universal Truths and Cycles shows the band has lost touch with the most important thing outside producers brought to their TVT albums -- someone to help pick, choose, and sequence Robert Pollard's over-abundance of songs. While Pollard has, as usual, come up with a few great tunes here (most notably "Cheyenne," "Everywhere With Helicopter," and "Eureka Signs"), this album lacks the thematic coherence and unified impact of Isolation Drills. Universal Truths and Cycles proves that Robert Pollard and Guided by Voices have come a long, long way since Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes, but it also suggests the old high school football star needs a good coach to play at the top of his game. © Mark Deming /TiVo
From
CD€9.99

Alternative & Indie - Released February 1, 2019 | GBV Inc

From
CD€9.99

Alternative & Indie - Released April 26, 2019 | GBV Inc

From
CD€1.49

Alternative & Indie - Released June 17, 1996 | Matador