(Guided By Voices)
If its Tuesday, it must be time for another outing by Robert
Pollard… or so it seems given his uber productivity. After retiring Guided By
Voices, a band that never gave short thrift itself when it came to it ongoing
output, Pollard’s proved himself the busiest man in showbiz – not to mention a
concerted multi-tasker – with at least half a dozen new releases a year.
Striking various guises – Boston Spaceships, the Keene Brothers, Cosmos, the
Circus Devils, and just plain Robert Pollard – he seems compelled to keep up a
non-stop production line. Compulsive behavior? Obsession? Whatever the reason,
he keeps his fans well stocked with a strikingly diverse array of new material.
Consequently, Moses on
a Snail follows his last “solo” LP, We
All Get Out of the Army by only three months, a remarkably short expanse by
any measurement. Remarkably too, there’s no slide in quality. Curiously, Pollard
seems to be aligning himself with other notable eccentrics – Syd Barrett, Robyn
Hitchcock, Bowie – for a generally off-kilter tableau of peculiar settings.
“The Weekly Crow” purveys a brooding Bowie-esque perspective of the “Heroes”
variety. The title track reflects the darker, more bewildering observations of
prime time Hitchcock. And the steady
assault of “It’s A Pleasure Being You” (“It’s a pleasure being you/There are
things you can prove”) — and much of the rest of the set for that matter —
takes its cue from Barrett’s skewered perspectives.
It all stands to reason, of course. When one is driven to
such prodigious output, a manic mentality seems certain to take hold. But
whatever the reason, it hasn’t failed him yet, and its title to the contrary, Moses on a Snail shows Pollard adeptly
maintaining that frenzied pace.
Standout Tracks: “Moses on a Snail,” “The Weekly Crow,” “It’s a Pleasure Being You” LEE