Guided By Voices Inc.
Album download included
Richly striated with layers of musical goo, this album is as much the work of a guild of master craftsmen as of a singular visionary genius.
"Robert Pollard's gift for brevity snowballed into a sum of 1,000 written songs, most of them for his band, Guided By Voices, who are releasing their fourth reunion record together in a little over a year (they plan to squeeze in one more before 2013 burns out).
"English Little League blends ‘Mats early punk appeal with The Smile Sessions. It's an exhaustive album that packs a clown car full of guttural manifestos ("Xeno Pariah"), Beatles piano ballads ('The Sudden Death of Epstein's Ways'), and guttural ballads with the occasional piano ('Reflections In A Metal Whistle').
"The best song is 'Island (She Talks in Rainbows') because it's memorable, which, given the prolificacy of this band, has to be the new barometer for greatness. 'Island' has all the fixings of psychedelic bewilderment: Subtle guitar modulations, the emphatic cymbal crash, and holy Simon and Garfunkel harmonies. The gorgeous two minutes feel like a warm beach blanket to curl inside.
"'Send To Celeste (And The Cosmic Athletes)' features a rousing major-chord crescendo and drums that manifest like a slow clap. Pollard's pronounced vocal takes surprising leaps while he contemplates executions and drinking glasses in the same breath. The song has the meek majesty of a teenager reciting the St. Crispin's Day Speech to his girlfriend, which never happens, but somehow seems totally plausible in this song. That nostalgia permeates 'Crybaby 4-Star Hotel,' a classic GBV title, and tells of 'pinball days' come and gone because "daylight finally found us." Tobin Sprout plays a slingshot guitar solo full of the gusto and risk of a bunch of hotel hermits taking to the real world.
"Or perhaps they're taking to the two-star hotel next door with a pinball machine that's busted but at least let's you play for free. Cue Foghat, cue Matthew McConaughey's mustache, cue hard rock guitars, wayward vocals, and everything else on 'Know Me As Heavy", the kickass song that sounds like an abridged Hold Steady tune. In hindsight, a songwriting session between Craig Finn and Pollard would be amazing; although, a conversation between the verbose two might be fascinating enough." — Consequence of Sound
|1. Xeno Pariah|
|2. Know Me as Heavy|
|3. Island (She Talks in Rainbows)|
|4. Trash Can Full of Nails|
|5. Send to Celeste|
|6. The Quiet Game|
|7. Noble Insect|
|8. Sir Garlic Breath|
|9. Crybaby 4 Star Hotel|
|10. Biographer Seahorse|
|11. Flunky Minnows|
|13. The Sudden Death of Epstein’s Ways|
|14. Reflections in a Metal Whistle|
|15. Taciturn Cave|
|16. A Burning Glass|
|17. W/ Glass in Foot|