Guided By Voices – Let’s Go Eat the Factory (Fire)

January 16, 2012 by  

The first time Guided By Voices entered my radar was co-starring alongside The Strokes for the video of ‘Someday’. Who were these old rockers playing ‘Family Fortunes’ were they even real band? Why on earth are they involved with the coolest band on the planet? A little research revealed that they were indeed one of the most prolific underground indie bands of the last twenty years.

The prolific chief song master Robert Pollard effortlessly leaking out dozens of new tracks a year. Not all of their output was listenable and with the dozens of tracks on offer they were never an easy band to get into. But for every couple of scratchy mistakes Pollard would have a piece of magic up his sleeve like ‘Teenage FBI’ and ‘Glad Girls’ So with the classic line up from fifteen years ago, would GBV be able to release something consistent and worthy of a return for their legions of fans.

‘Let’s Go Eat the Factory’ begins with ‘Laundry and Lasers’ and the chunking guitars and semi- distorted tones of Pollard are unmistakable of old. As per usual there are more misses than hits and with over twenty tracks available, it’s hard to understand why they needed to include so many un-miracles. But for every slice of chaos they Ohio prove why they were in such demand for a reformation. ‘Doughnut for the Snowman’ sums up the best parts of GBV sweet sixties rock melodies wrapped in garage rock credentials. Disappointingly as soon as it’s begun its over and then the pysch- rock of ‘Spiderfighter’ spins the album into yet another direction. The scatter bomb effect to an album track listing makes for an interesting listen, the album lacks any type of connecting thread it’s more like listening to GBV on an IPod Shuffle.

This is pretty much what anyone would expect from a comeback album, no new tricks but plenty of their old magic like on ‘Unsinkable Fats Domino’ and the synth led ‘Hang Mr Kite’. It may lack any new crossover appeal, but there are at least enough mini gems to keep the cult followers happy… even though for a very short time.

[rating:3.5]


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