Friday, December 16, 2011

Reviewed :: Guided By Voices - Let's Go Eat The Factory

Shortly after what was reported to be the final show of the classic line ups reunion at North Carolina's Hopscotch Music Festival in September, news came that the band had been writing and recording new songs back in Dayton, 21 one of those appear on the soon to be released Let's Go Eat The Factory, the line ups first new recording in fifteen years. The album will be released on January 1st to mail order and to record shops on January 17th. However if you're feeling a bit impatient and really who could blame you, the digital release is set for this Tuesday December 20th.

Over the past couple of weeks I've spent a lot of time listening to Let's Go Eat The Factory and to no one's surprise I'm completely bowled over by it. From the first listen, I wanted to experience these songs on their own merit, so not to compare them to what many (myself included) would call the bands holy trinity of Bee Thousand, Alien Lanes, and Under The Bushes, Under The Stars, not an easy task. The album has plenty of lo-fi charm and like the bands best work it sticks with you long after the final tracks ended. Laundry and Lasers opens the set with a mid-fi, distortion drenched anthem that does an effective job of both setting the tone for the LP, and providing a true eureka moment, similar to the first time you heard Buzzards and Dreadful Crows. Doughnut For A Snowman, shows off Robert Pollard gift for writing the perfect melancholic pop song, while Spiderfighter finds Tobin Sprout providing charging rhythms and angular guitar lines, before giving way to a gorgeous piano coda. Varied and inventive instrumentation add some depth to tracks like the string laden beatlesque, Hang Mr. Kite. It's not all anthemic pop songs, some the albums strongest moments are also it's darkest like on the wonderfully sleazy, The Big Hat And Toy Show, with squealing guitars, throbbing bass, and Pollards almost creepy vocal. The album closes with the sinister and ultimately triumphant, We Won't Apologize For The Human Race. You will wake up in the morning with these song playing in your head and the only thing to do is reach for Let's Go Eat The Factory, for more.

I had very high expectations for Let's Go Eat The Factory and remarkably the album surpasses all of them. But what makes the album so special, other than that it exists at all, is the fact that this line up has brilliantly picked up where they left off and delivered an album as great as Let's Go Eat The Factory.

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