Tuesday, August 31, 2004

21 & Done

21 years and the godfathers of indie rock, Guided By Voices, are done with their latest release, "Half Smiles of the Decomposed." I keep mentioning this, but I'm guessing I'm not going to be missing them too much. Sure they are one of my favorite bands, but they've got one of the biggest back catalogues I've ever seen. It's almost impossible for even the biggest GBV fan to keep up with. Plus I'm guessing Bob will still be recording.

Anyways....this last album is basically what you would expect: a flamboyant and over-the-top rock album. It's impossible to compare any GBV album to anything else, but this latest does have the typical Who-like sound with a couple of Mott the Hoople singalong. However, there are no homages to any particular sound of past GBV albums. What you get is a surprisingly dark effort. There are a few up-beat songs, but for the most part it is full of disjointed ballads and even a couple of political songs (huh?) on "Sons of Apollo" and "Sing For Your Meat." Didn't see that coming. The best song on the album? It would probably have to be the last song, "Huffman Prairie Flying Field." Usually GBV albums end with a loud and brief rock song. Here, however, you get a very well-crafted song. Probably one of the best, if not the best, pure rock song I've heard all year. All-in-all it may not be the best GBV effort in the catalogue, but you will get the most emoting from Bob since "Isolation Drills." It is very good and very surprising and anybody with a GBV bone needs it because this is a great ending to the best art-rock of the past decade plus. RIP GBV!

Tomorrow I'll try to post about my latest purchase. I'll briefly summarize: I think I may have a new album to absolutely obsess over and push off on everybody else.