Guided by Voices
Space Gun


3.5
great

Review

by butcherboy CONTRIBUTOR (122 Reviews)
March 6th, 2018 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A beer cooler from a garage in Dayton..

Whatever verve Bob Pollard found his way back to a few years ago is evidently still kicking strong, and so here we are again, another few months past and a brand new Guided by Voices LP on our hands. Indie’s quintessential loveable imp and hardest-working old-timer is back at it, history coming full circle, as his revived team-up with original co-creator Tobin Sprout has been ushered out without due formalities yet again to make way for Doug Gillard, like it’s 1997 all over again. The resulting Space Gun is another unpolished pebble of feel-good middle-aged vibes from the heart of Middle America, Pollard’s now-103rd release altogether.

Much like on last year’s How Do You Spell Heaven, a sense of warped triumph becomes Pollard and company. His knack for penning songs of learned luminosity, something bright and declarative that persists in the face of age and life’s chronic knocks, that bruised innocence, is plastered all over Space Gun’s every ruck and crease.

The Cobra Verde line-up return as his backing band for the third consecutive time since the double stack of August by Cake, and Pollard seems happy as can be to be back in their hi-fi midst, analog synths, mellotrons, string sections flourishes and all. It’s strange to imagine, even now, how much luster and vigour the 60-year old manages to bring both to the studio and the live venue to this day.

Guided by Voices being who they are, Space Gun is a far cry for a straight hit-maker. Undercooked tropes, stiff-veering melodies, countless rehashes of old ideas, and sheer nonsense crop up just about everywhere. So does the good stuff though; that eager earnestness, the boyish cynicism, the charming thoughtlessness - it’s all there in the thick of the splendid, heartfelt self-awareness of the electrified rush of the title-track opener, the patented Midwestern wink of “King Flute” and the hard “Liar’s Box” that mashes vaguely proggy theatrics into a three-minute frame.

Space Gun hits its stride properly on side B. Somewhere in the middle of the disarming croon of “I Love Kangaroos,” GBV lock into a winsome groove and ride it all the way out to closing. Pollard’s childish weariness cuts right through the moodiness of “That’s Good,” and “Grey Spat Matters” may just be the finest candid rocker they’ve laid to tape since “Goodbye Note.”

The final verdict on Space Gun is predictable enough. This likely won’t win them any new fans, and modern indie music tropes being what they are, the trade GBV ply now borders on some post-post-modern version of ‘dad rock’ more than anything. What it is is simple enough. Just an old scene vet, grizzled but unexhausted, warring but not worn out yet, serving up another take of simple summer fun a few months early.



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user ratings (19)
Chart.
2.9
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
March 6th 2018


9160 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album is currently streaming here:



https://consequenceofsound.net/2018/03/guided-by-voices-break-down-their-new-album-space-gun-track-by-track-stream/

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SandwichBubble
March 6th 2018


8444 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Oh boy, here we gooo

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Dewinged
March 6th 2018


12971 Comments


Lol new album! These guys man, what a legend! Great write up butch, needless to say ;)

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Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
March 6th 2018


56228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

whoa must check

Gyromania
March 6th 2018


26100 Comments


Really inconsistent group

zakalwe
March 6th 2018


26029 Comments


One of the most consistent bands in history. Fact.

Dewinged
March 6th 2018


12971 Comments


The face of consistency, no less.

Gyromania
March 6th 2018


26100 Comments


Some really good albums and lots of not-so-good ones

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2018


9160 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

but the good parts are so fucking tasty..

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2018


24226 Comments


these guys' discog overwhelms me, nice review tho butcher as always

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2018


9160 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cheers, Con! if you ever do get around to them, check the classics first, and then maybe make your way down..

SandwichBubble
March 7th 2018


8444 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

emphasis on "down" ;D

Rivaled only by half japanese for "essential band turned 2.5 machine"

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2018


9160 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea, but half Japanese put out a modicum of material by comparison, including their properly classic songs (maybe ten or so)

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2018


9160 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

also, you shush your mouth!

BlushfulHippocrene
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2018


2649 Comments


Hadn't checked a review from you for a matter of weeks and you somehow got even better. How.

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Chortles
March 9th 2018


21300 Comments


Excellent review butch, and my god how is pollard still managing to make so much music

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2018


9160 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cheers, fellas!

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
March 11th 2018


14983 Comments


that's good is beautiful

edit: typo in review. says it's good instead of that's good

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2018


9160 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice spot! fixed..

onionbubs
March 12th 2018


10167 Comments


someday ill get around to all their shit, or at least more than like 5 albums

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