Guided by Voices is no stranger to the excitement of an album release. On March 23rd, Guided by Voices released their 26th studio album, Space Gun on Rockathon Records. The album sees Guided by Voices perform some positively pop rock that feels tried and true, if not a little bit too tried.
Guided by Voices (often abbreviated to GBV) is an indie rock project fronted by founding member Robert Pollard. The band gained notoriety in 1993 for their lo-fi feel and garage band sound on the album Propeller. Throughout GBV’s prolific career, they’ve experimented with more polished studio releases but have always kept their indie rock roots. GBV’s record output has been prolific with over 20 full-length albums to their name, from self-released tracks in the mid-80s to their most recent effort, Space Gun.
Space Gun opens with its titular track ‘Space Gun.’ The song starts with an out of place industrial feel before swiftly cutting to layered guitars building up to Pollard’s surreal lyrics and the poppier body of the song. The track is a true testament to indie rock and a showcase of what’s to come as far as the energy and feel of the rest of the album. However, Pollard switches it up on track 10, ‘Sport Component National.’ The song starts as harmonious surf rock, almost a Beach Boys call back, before cutting into a very lo-fi sample of what seems to be Pollard strumming an acoustic guitar. The song then cuts back to the swaying surf rock feel, changing tempo several times before ending in a triumphant chorus of ‘whoa-ohs.’
Guided By Voices delivers a solid indie album. The record feels very Manchester Orchestra circa 2006 meets R.E.M. It’s a standard blueprint for indie rock, and because of that tends to feel unsurprising. At points, the songs almost blend together and begin feel indistinguishable from one another. Being that this album puts the band at nearly 30 studio releases, it is a showcase of their consistency. However, if this is your first listen to GBV, it may not be enough to pull you in.
For Fans Of: R.E.M, The first 25 Guided By Voices albums, ordering the usual
Our Take: Shoots for the stars, but winds up on a cloud