Wed Sep 24 2008
Time Out Ratings :<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5
Rust never sleeps. And to hear the reckless energy with which Bob Pollard attacks the strident and charged-up songs on Brown Submarine, it’s also clear that buzzing power chords, a snappy melodic sensibility and tunes that say everything they need to inside of two minutes—psychedelic freak-out guitar solos included—have never fully gone out of fashion, at least where Pollard’s concerned. The man of a thousand songs and founder of prolific ’90s cult icons Guided by Voices returns after a two-year hiatus with a new trio jacked into the alternating currents of vintage Who, Cheap Trick and Wire, and shot through with Pollard’s delightfully peculiar themes.
Boston Spaceships also feature Decemberists drummer John Moen and GBV bassist Chris Slusarenko (with power-popster Tommy Keene as second guitarist on the tour). The tight mesh of guitars and punchy dynamic contrasts on songs like “Winston’s Atomic Bird,” “Rat Trap” and “Psych Threat” argue for the simple pleasures of steely harmonics and manic drum beats you can pogo to.Elsewhere, Pollard wistfully alerts the public to “soggy beavers clogging the streets” while evoking the Byrds, and turns his guitar into a harpsichord to play DIY Donovan on “North 11 A.M.” None of it makes a whole lot of sense, but the album’s dungaree-pocket surrealism and kinetic urgency suggest that the beer-stocked fridge in Pollard’s Ohio garage is really the fountain of youth.
Boston Spaceships play Highline Ballroom Wed 1.
Buy Brown Submarine now on BN.com