Pin It
Favorite

CD Review - Guided By Voices 

by Mike Corrigan


In the kingdom of indie rock, the trouble with being unintentionally quirky and (by default) unique is that your fans come to expect it from you. And when you finally attain the status necessary to bring technically perfect production to bear, allowing you to finally translate the sounds in your head into sonically pure reality, you catch hell for abandoning the aesthetic that made you a standout in the first place.


Ever since 1998's Mag Earwig! (featuring the first full lineup change since the band's inception somewhere in the early 1980s), Guided by Voices' guiding light Robert Pollard has been moving steadily toward big rock and away from the bizarre arrangements and delightfully shoddy production that characterized the dozen or so albums that first garnered GbV a rabid cult following. In the transition from basement-dwelling, home-taping, warped pop renegades into a bona fide, technically proficient, marketable rock band, something was lost. Where sparkling pop gems used to fly out of GbV albums like glorious accidents, the new, cleaned up, "improved" band sounds metered, calculated, "correct" and ultimately, tamed.


Though Isolation Drills is loaded with fine tunage ("Fair Touching," "Chasing Heather Crazy," Twighlight Campfighter," "Unspirited") -- punctuated by Pollard's incredible melodic flair and engaging lyrical twists -- it fails to elicit holy shit explicatives and chills of delight readily available on such GbV benchmarks as Bee Thousand and Under The Bushes, Under The Stars. No matter how good it is (and it is good), it can't help but fail to be great.


Uncle Bob, you've groomed your followers to expect the unexpected. Is it any wonder that with Isolation Drills, we are underwelmed?
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Put Kids First
  • Put Kids First

    Why adults in Olympia must come together to pass the Early Start Act
    • May 27, 2015
  • Teacher Of Generations
  • Teacher Of Generations

    Publisher's Note
    • May 27, 2015
  • A Persistent Life
  • A Persistent Life

    Scott Reed won more cases than he lost in life, and the beauty of the Coeur d'Alene area has been the beneficiary
    • May 27, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
9th Annual Lilac City Comicon

9th Annual Lilac City Comicon @ Spokane Convention Center

Sat., May 30, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Mike Corrigan

  • Lights, Camera, Skate
  • Lights, Camera, Skate

    Two local artists have transformed their love of skateboarding into a new variety show on Community Television.
    • Dec 14, 2011
  • For Your Consideration
  • For Your Consideration

    A raucous good time from Thee Oh Sees. Plus, vintage horror and a Berlin filmmaker to check out.
    • Nov 22, 2011
  • Time Travelers
  • Time Travelers

    For some local store owners, finding intriguing merchandise isn’t just business, it’s an obsession.
    • Nov 22, 2011
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • On a Roll

    Just-announced reforms do little to safeguard Spokane against the danger of oil trains
    • May 6, 2015
  • Hierarchy of Needs

    Spokane experiments with Housing First programs
    • May 13, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation