There are two types of people: those who appreciate Guided by Voices and those who have terrible friends who haven’t introduced them yet. Having spanned nearly four decades Robert Pollard and crew know who they are and what they’re capable of. We, on the other hand, are just beginning to see the bounds in which this Ohio iconic indie alt-rock trailblazing band is seeking to reach.
With enough releases to make Pearl Jam’s live albums blush, Guided By Voices has been releasing music since the 80s, sprinkling them across decades, influencing generations, even turning the band off and back on again after a ten year reprieve. Now, riding the pace that has seen a line of new releases in the last few years Guided by Voices is releasing Tremblers And Goggles By Rank.
Somewhere in a basement in the UK Roy Trenneman and Maurice Moss, likely Richmond, are excited to be in the midst of another ten tracks from Guided by Voices and frankly, we are as well. Bending confidently around the unpredictable, Tremblers And Goggles By Rank feels at times like it is tapping more heavily into the modern punk scene and less like the sounds we’ve heard in the past. The ever-churning vivid psych post-punk rock sound at the heart of the record takes the soul of the 90s and pours it into a fresh elixir that does everything but feel dated. Pace changes and rolling riffs reveal themselves in nothing but pure enjoyable indie rock at its finest. The hooks from “Roosevelt’s Marching Band” sink into your psyche without effort. The Townsend-esc “Focus On The Flock” carries you away like and Acid Queen at a fevered pace. Ultimately, across the new release, from feeling like Pollard has spent a significant time with Melbourne’s Blake Scott to the twisting directions rooted in years of experience, Guided by Voices has achieved the remarkable, they’ve released a sound that is fresh.
Refusing to be complacent, Guided by Voices Tremblers And Goggles By Rank proclaims “to hell with what people believe us to be, hold my beer” and establishes a solidly complex new record full of surprises and rewards. In the days of summertime cruising with the windows down this would be a sure-fire soundtrack. Now, you’re better off spending a third the cost of a tank of gas on buying the record and turning it up.