Guided By Voices New LP Arrives Jan. 1



a happy New Year’s Day from Robert Pollard, Tobin Sprout, Mitch Mitchell, Greg
Demos, Kevin Fennell with Jimmy Pollard: Let’s Go Eat the Factory to be
released via Guided By Voices, Inc.

After a fifteen year hiatus, the
“classic line up” of Guided By Voices finished off its year-long
reunion tour by recording an album of 21 new songs, making a deliberate effort
to return to what bandleader Robert Pollard calls the
“semi-collegial” approach of iconic GBV albums like Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes. Let’s Go Eat The Factory is some kind of
return to form: sprawling, variegated, and yet still recognizably and
coherently Guided By Voices in both its literal and mythic senses.


Choosing to eschew the recording
studio, Let’s Go Eat The Factory was instead manufactured in the
living rooms, basements, and garages of various long-time bandmembers.


Some tracks were recorded
more-or-less live at Mitch Mitchell’s garage, where the band would often
practice back in the early- and mid-90s. These sessions comprised Mitch, Bob,
and Jimmy Pollard, Bob’s brother and long-time collaborator, who, though never
a part of the touring ensemble, always played a crucial role on the classic-era
releases. Some tracks were improvised over acoustic jam sessions at Greg Demos’
house. Many were recorded at Tobin Sprout’s place in Wherever, Michigan, and later
lovingly fucked with in order to achieve the proper level of weirdness. Band
members switched instruments (e.g. Bob plays drums; Mitch plays drums; Jimmy
Pollard plays bass; Greg plays lead guitar; Toby plays pretty much everything;
etc.) and Bob gladly accepted input from the rest of the band. Tobin Sprout
wrote or co-wrote and sings on six out of the 21 songs.


The aesthetic is very much in
keeping with Guided By Voices, but in some unexpected ways (more prevalent use
of keyboards and samples, for one thing) the 21st century can’t help but poke
its nose into the resulting music. Devoted fans of Bee Thousand will
not be disappointed in, for instance, the demonically tuneful “Chocolate
Boy,” or the relentless chug of “We Won’t Apologize For The Human
Race,” which Tobin Sprout describes as “Peter Gabriel singing ‘I Am
The Walrus.'” Other standouts include “Doughnut For A Snowman,”
which Pollard calls “the goofiest, twinkliest song I’ve ever
written,” or “Spider Fighter,” a Tobin Sprout number that was in
fact the first song title conceived for the new album, and which features a
piano coda that Pollard likens to “a Pete Townshend demo for Lifehouse.”


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