Guided By Voices is on a roll. One could argue that GBV is never not on a roll, that Robert Pollard’s output plows past the word “prolific” like prolific is standing still in a snowbank; and that’s true, but this new version of the band (Doug Gillard, Bobby Bare Jr, Mark Shue, Kevin March) has given Pollard new tools to complement his song-hammer. Thus, ergo, quod erat demonstrandum: roll.
Hot on the heels of the smothered-in-plaudits double album August By Cake comes this hot and heavy fifteen-tune long player, a melody-dense thwack to the earholes that will both energize and deplete your body of its remaining music-appreciation enzymes. Recorded by the band in New York, and by Pollard in Ohio, How Do You Spell Heaven capitalizes on the current incarnation’s tour-buffed shine without sacrificing eternal verities such as but not limited to: off-kilter rhythmic jolts; krazy chords; purposefully imperfect harmonies; and fragmented structures that start and stop on a coin of small denomination and go somewhere else, and quickly.
There’s more, much more—the easiest, laziest way to sum up this latest album is the most obvious: How do you spell heaven? Shout it from the rafters: G-B-V!
• Latest album follows up critically acclaimed August By Cake with same killer line-up
Label: Guided By Voices Inc. – GBVi77
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Released: 11 Aug 2017
Style: Indie Rock, Lo-Fi
A1 The Birthday Democrats 2:30
A2 King 007 2:51
A3 Boy W 2:34
A4 Steppenwolf Mausoleum 3:22
A5 Cretinous Number Ones 1:45
A6 They Fall Silent 0:55
A7 Diver Dan 2:04
A8 How To Murder A Man [In 3 Acts] 2:43
B1 Pearly Gates Smoke Machine
Songwriter – Doug Gillard, Robert Pollard
B2 Tenth Century 2:37
B3 How Do You Spell Heaven 1:53
B4 Paper Cutz 2:36
B5 Low Flying Perfection 2:37
B6 Nothing Gets You Real 2:24
B7 Just to Show You 2:17