Guided by Voices – Let’s Go Eat the Factory

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Along with the Pixies, this was the only recent reunion album where mainstream critics (mostly Pitchfork, but a few others) weren’t afraid to call the artist on their shit instead of being happy that their favorite artist was back, even if the material was middling (see: Blur, Mazzy Star, David Bowie, Boards of Canada, Suede, and most egregious of all, that fucking My Bloody Valentine album); this might be the worst of their reunion era. The nadir is at the back, where they give us an orchestral interlude (“Old Bones”) that only bathetically drops you into another interlude (“Go Rolling Home”) and then another interlude (“The Room Taking Shape”), as if Pollard didn’t even want you to get to the album’s best song (“We Won’t Apologize for the Human Race”), where they employ some buzzing strings in the verses that sound post-rock inspired and some wonderful sighing backing vocals in the second instance of the pre-chorus. Elsewhere, mild tunes (“Doughnut for a Snowman”), mild drift (“My Europa”), mild chugs (“God Loves Us,” “The Unsinkable Fats Domino”), some surprising horns (“Imperial Racehorsing”) and a potent instrumental that you wish Pollard bothered to write a tune for (“Cyclone Utilities”).

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One response to “Guided by Voices – Let’s Go Eat the Factory

  1. Fair review.And my bias in favour of this band is huge. They’re among my favourites ever. I was so happy when they came back (even if it made the initial break-up seem silly – it didn’t last all that long!). But you are right, they don’t always nail it (though they often do, too!). I suppose I get around this issue by having everything in a big random mix. One track here or there, even from a somewhat lesser effort like this*, and it melts into the rest and makes one great big happy pile.

    * Though I might still say that even their lesser efforts are way better than a lot of bands’ best efforts! There’s that bias showing, again…

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