Album Reviews, Reviews

Guided By Voices – The Bears For Lunch album review

Guided By Voices have been a band since the early ’80s, putting out albums full of lofi indie rock and 2 minute pop bursts with only a short break in the middle of the last decade. Lead singer and songwriter Robert Pollard has always been amazingly prolific, writing and recording massive amounts of songs pretty much constantly. The current GBV album, The Bears For Lunch, is in fact their third this year, along with 2 Pollard solo albums.

Like all GBV releases, it’s both tuneful and to the point. None of the songs are much longer than three minutes, and for the most part are straightforward indie pop rock. While some have the lofi self-recorded feel of the older GBV records, feeling like song sketches more than actual compositions, quite a few are more polished, full of vibrancy and energy. The lead off track, “King Arthur The Red”, is a burst of rock that is infectious in its enthusiasm. Over the 19 tracks, Pollard and company do their thing like they always do, and probably will continue to do.

But let’s backtrack a bit, to the fact that this is their THIRD album released this year. Some bands struggle to release one album every 3 years, and they’ve written and recorded three in one year, with all full of impeccable pop rock and lofi indie rock goodness. That is impressive. So much so that as a songwriter myself, it’s almost discouraging. Pollard is just so damn good.

Getting back to the production, on the more fully fleshed out songs, the vocal harmonies are beautiful, especially on “The Military School Dance Dismissal.” The guitar work is impressive as well, without being overly fiddly or “wanking” like some bands can get. Everything works together to portray a band at the top of its powers. The Bears For Lunch is a really great album, and one that anyone who likes good solid rock music should have in their collection.

Guided By Voices The Bears For Lunch will be released November 13 2012. Check out their website for more info and their other albums.

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