Sunday, July 15, 2007

Indie Rock Pioneer -- Guided By Voices

Never has a band taken the lo-fi, do it yourself ethos to heart as much as GUIDED BY VOICES. Most of the records made by these natives of Dayton, Ohio were done in small studios by the band with very little production. But don't let that fool you into thinking the Robert Pollard, Tobin Sprout and a cast of a thousand rotating players weren't serious musicians. Although most of their songs clocked in at under 2 1/2 minutes, what you usually got was a nice mix of influences from the Beatles and other British Invasion era bands sent through a blender and Americanized for indie rock consumption. The band is certainly one of the most prolific so narrowing down to a couple of tracks is damn near impossible.

The band did flirt for awhile with major label poppinees. They even brought former Cars frontman Ric Ocasek in on their 2002 album "Do The Collapse". What came out was a cleaner, more polished version which wasn't an entirely band thing but it robbed the band of alot of its charm (I often think this is what Weezer would have sounded like if Rivers Cuomo hadn't had a nervous breakdown and started channeling glam rock through his nerd chic glasses). Tobin Sprout departed the band a while back and went on to release a few quality solo albums and Robert Pollard has dabbled in the solo waters as well.

So I give you a couple of selections to check out. Fortunately the band has a huge mp3 archive to sample here. These guys are certainly worth your time, particularly if your into Spoon, Modest Mouse and other DIY indie bands of today.

This was the first thing I heard and it immediately blew me away. What I heard was a live verision off a sampler CD and I was amazed and the wordplay and guitar line that seemed to fit together perfectly.

(m4a) Guided By Voices -- The Official Ironmen Rally Song
Another example of British rock on a four track vibe that is so perfectly GBV. I love the lyric "crawling people on your knees, don't take this so seriously, You just have to hum it all day long". I think it's the perfect mix of hope and cynicism.

1 comment:

david santos said...

Thanks for your work and have a good day