In 2018, Guided By Voices will release precisely one new album, Space Gun. Once you hear it, you will know why.
With a renowned work ethic and a daily pot of coffee, Robert Pollard continues to outclass younger generations of come-and-go rock bands. After 20+ years, 100+ albums, 2000+ songs, Pollard still can't really explain (or doesn't want to explain) his secret: "The songs just come to me."
In 2017, the new GBV line-up (veterans Doug Gillard and Kevin March and newcomers Mark Shue and Bobby Bare Jr) blew away audiences at Coachella and Growlers Fest, touring behind the ambitious and sprawling multi-vocalist double album August By Cake, followed just months later by the concise punchy / catchy How Do You Spell Heaven. Pollard has acknowledged that this line-up’s adroit talents pushes him to more daring and dizzying heights. The band will be touring N. America throughout 2018.
And now, here it comes...Space Gun, the fullest realization yet of Pollard's song talents, with the band firing on all cylinders. "Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes..."
Sonically, it's massive and powerful. “Space Gun,” the instantly memorable album opener, clocks in at an epic four minutes and 17 seconds of perfect, pneumatic bliss. We're thrust into a new Pollardian universe and meet strange characters like "Colonel Paper," the "King Flute," and the "Ark Technician,” all before blasting off into the galaxy with the driving force of the single "See My Field."
There's humor and whimsical childlike musings, cinematic grace and elegance, heavy duty propulsion, dark futuristic undercurrents, twists and turns and kinetic magic. This is a band that turns on a dime, rips it up, psychs it out and can radically shape-shift to realize a three-act rock opera in 2 minutes and 48 seconds ("Sport Component National"). Robert Pollard is a lyrical master; not a word out of place, every line bristling with surprise, telling a story that’s both irresistible and impossible.
Invention and imagination remain the undiminished life-forces of a Guided by Voices record and Space Gun absolutely crackles with this energy. This band is on fire.