January 3rd, 2012 6:10am
Too Drunk To Know
Let’s Go Eat the Factory is the first Guided by Voices album since 2004, but given the sheer number of records penned by Bob Pollard between then and now, it’s a rather arbitrary distinction. Pollard has reunited with his “classic lineup,” but since those players aren’t not especially distinctive, you only really notice the personnel shift in the inclusion of a few numbers written and sung by Tobin Sprout, who has resumed his role as Pollard’s foil. The GBV-ness of Factory mainly manifests itself in the band’s self-conscious bid to emulate the sound of their mid-90s output. (It really does sound like the natural follow-up to this lineup’s final record, Under the Bushes Under the Stars, which had a similar blend of lo-fi and mid-fi recordings.)
To some extent, Factory sounds like Pollard working very hard to reconnect with his past, and it’s successful and listenable in as much as even his least impressive songs tend to be pretty enjoyable and he’s largely playing to his aesthetic strengths. But aside from the delightful single “Unsinkable Fats Domino” and Sprout’s “God Loves Us,” there aren’t too many keepers in this batch. And really, that’s the best way to think of Pollard’s output — the records are all some degree of pretty good to pretty great, and sorta samey in their approach to sequencing, and some records have more keepers than others. Another new Guided by Voices album is coming later this year; maybe that one will be a little better. But it’s basically the same deal as with Pollard’s solo output or his work with Boston Spaceships. We just pay attention to this new GBV record simply because that is the brand we’ve been conditioned to favor.
Buy it from Amazon.