Guided By Voices
Motivational Jumpsuit - GBV INC.
FILTER Grade: 83%
By Kurt Orzeck on March 20, 2014
“Writer’s Block” isn’t the strongest song on the fifth album by the so-called “new era GBV,” but its title is the most sardonic. It encapsulates what some music reviewers (cough, cough) suffer from when reviewing GBV albums—because, really, what hasn’t been said about this band by now?—and also references a condition from which Mr. Robert Pollard has apparently never suffered. On this typically value-packed, 20-song LP, the band emphasizes the power over the pop (“Bulletin Borders,” “Child Activist,” “Planet Score”) and even flirts with politics (“Difficult Outburst and Breakthrough,” “Calling Up Washington,” “Vote For Me, Dummy”) without being overtly partisan. The throwaways are in the eye of the beholder, depending on whether you’re more partial to lo-fi GBV or hi-fi GBV, the band’s brain (Pollard) or its heart (Tobin Sprout). Regardless, this album has a vibrant crosscut of all GBV’s personalities, and for that they deserve applause.