Perhaps it was the description of the album in the press release that lessened my expectations, however I wasn't prepared for Lord of The Birdcage to be this good. The album opens with Smashed Middle Finger, at first a gentle guitar strummer, but only to give way to a fist pumping Who-esque romp with a killer chorus "I got a Smashed Middle Finger, I want to give to the world". Elsewhere Pollard delivers earnest and durable melodies. Dunce Codex shares qualities with some of Pollard's best songs, however that never distracts from the infectious and utterly addicting track. Like most releases from Robert Pollard, Lord of The Birdcage rewards the listener on repeated listens, especially on the prog punk of You Can't Challenge Forward Progress, the glam stomper Ribbon of Fat and the gorgeous acoustic ballad, In A Circle. But there's an argument to be made that Pollard saves his best songs to serve as album closers, as is the case with the power pop gem, Ash Ript Telecopter.
It can be daunting to keep up with the Über prolific release schedule of Robert Pollard, but when he continues to record and release consistently rich and engaging material like that found on Lord of The Birdcage, it continues to be (at least for this reviewer), an incredibly rewarding exorcise.
Lord of The Birdcage will be released on June 7th via GBV, Inc. and is currently getting the pre-release stream treatment over at Spinner.