Monday, October 17, 2011

Guided By Voices

When I first developed interest in starting a blog, my initial intention was to occasionally include posts from older bands or albums as well.  This hasn't really happened; but my obsession with Guided By Voices has warranted a second attempt at this goal.  I also figured it was appropriate since I had just finished listening to 1992's Propeller, which is their earliest release I've listened of theirs thus far. This LP is pretty important for them; not only was it their breakthrough album, but it was a fantastic set up for Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes, two of the most crucial albums in the history of 90s indie rock.  And it's true, Guided By Voices (lead singer Robert Pollard in particular) really are musical geniuses, gathering inspiration from a multitude of sources: rock, punk, name it, they can be loud and obnoxious or soft and relaxing.  Ultimately, they became pioneers in lo-fi, a style of music characterized by distortion alongside background noise most similar to a "tape hiss"; in other words, GBV sound like they could've been recorded in someone's garage.  That's part of their appeal though, their musical is incredibly pure, raw, and genuine.  It's classic style rock at its best, just a bunch of dudes jamming to the tunes that they love, and you can tell they're having fun doing it.  Another quality that makes GBV unique are the way they set up their recordings; most songs don't even clip the two-minute mark, and so you have albums that are jam-packed with ideas. Alien Lanes contains 28 songs, Under the Bushes Under the Stars has 24, and Mag Earwhig! has 21.  The variety of music that can be covered in 28 songs if astonishing, and GBV are the masters of that craft. Today, they still play live shows together, and while they may be older than 50, they still party like rock stars.  Pollard is notorious for drinking straight from the bottle during their concerts:

GBV are another example of a band more widely recognized as time goes on, it wasn't until 2001 that they even charted on the Billboard #168.  Yet, as long as they get the recognition they deserve at some point, I suppose it'll suffice.  Nowadays, some of the original limited edition vinyls of Propeller are sold for thousands of dollars. That's definitely giving them some props.  I've posted some songs below to show what they're all about.  Take a gander at a few of them, it won't take long...they're only two minutes each.

I Am A Scientist (from Bee Thousand)

My Valuable Hunting Knife (from Alien Lanes)

Quality of Armor (from Propeller)

Rhine Jive Click (from Under the Bushes Under the Stars)

As We Go Up, We Go Down (from Alien Lanes)

No comments:

Post a Comment