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Guided By Voices
The Bears for Lunch - GBV INC.
FILTER Grade: 77%

By Kurt Orzeck on November 15, 2012

 

Guided By Voices

If Malcolm Gladwell happens to need more case subjects to test his “10,000-Hour Rule,” Guided by Voices get the indie-rock vote hands-down. All of us (including frontman Robert Pollard) have lost count of how many records the Dayton legends have released. But Bears is their third this year alone, a fact that is stunning in its own right. And for a band that was never expected to return as recently as a few years ago, that’s Woody Allen–level good. Bears opens with the rollicking “King Arthur the Red,” probably the best GBV track of 2012. But then they rush off the stage and retreat to a back room. “Dome Rust” is a dead ringer for a dusted-off demo, while the droney “Skin to Skin Combat” could use a shave (a GBV song that lasts almost four minutes? Call Guinness). “Waving at Airplanes” evokes familiar GBV imagery but, like “Waking Up the Stars,” could be mistaken for a flower-power nugget buried beneath the mud at Woodstock. GBV revisit aero-imagery in “She Lives in the Airport” and “Tree Fly Jet,” but that hardly means they’re sputtering. Sure, none of us can tell the past dozen or so GBV albums from one another. But we wouldn’t trade any of ’em.

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