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Hey Man, He's Guided By Voices Again!

Robert Pollard Is Off To Business

By Evan Chase

Robert Pollard Is Off to Business (CD/LP)
Label: Guided by Voices, Inc. Due June 10th)

Robert Pollard


Robert Pollard, Todd Tobias


Track Listing


The Original Heart

The Blondes

1 Years Old

Gratification to Concrete

No One but I

Weatherman and Skin Goddess (also a forthcoming EP)

Confessions of a Teenage Jerk-Off

To the Path!

Western Centipede

Wealth and Hell-Being



After the now-legendary, myth-making years in the basement with a guy named Tobin
and the other Mitch Mitchell working shamelessly towards what would become "Bee Thousand"

(while still teaching middle school Social Studies, no less) and Spin's review naming same

"Record of The Year," some say it's all been downhill for Pollard and his raving gangs of rockers.


And how much ink has been spilled over the past decade-plus regarding Guided By Voices

and lead singer Robert Pollard's penchant for what he calls the three p's: pop, progressive,

psychedelia --and of course when talking about Dear Old Big Daddy King Shit Himself, the sweet booze?


Can we just say, a lot?


Nonetheless, every now and then, Robert Pollard rewards his fans and new listeners

by giving them exactly what they want: a solid Rock album (in the old-time sense---think

"Who's Next" and Pete Townsend's often-brilliant early solo work) chock full of pop ditties meant to be

cranked in the summertime while driving, windows down, through your shitty, wonderful suburban town.


"Robert Pollard Is Off To Business" is that record this time around.


This is the sound of Pollard and producer/bandmate Todd Tobias having a whole hell of a lot of

fun in the studio. Maybe it's the launch of their own label, GBV Inc., that's reinvigorated the duo---

whatever the reason, there's good reason to celebrate.Yes the formula's pretty well set in stone

by now, but so what? It's a formula because it works.


Haters will say Pollard keeps making the same record over-and-over, and there's some

truth in that, but not enough to matter.


"Off To Business" feels closest to late-era GBV jewels like “Isolation Drills” as it's wholly comprised
of uptempo 3-to-4 minute jolly bubblegum rockers like "Weatherman and Skin Goddess,"

which is as good as almost anything on "Alien Lanes," and the same can be said for

shit-hot lead single "Gratification to Concrete."


Sure there are one or two clunkers like "Confessions of A Teenage Jerk-Off," 

but that's a small qualm in an otherwise sunny ride and view. Robert Pollard knows what he's doing, and

"Robert Pollard Is Off To Business" is a clear declaration of intent he'll stay on his A-Game

throughout the decade, and likely beyond into the gleaming rock n' roll sunset and one day earn his

rightful place in the Great Indie Rock Hall of Fame.

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