Guided By Voices

After a fifteen year hiatus, the "classic line up" of Guided By Voices finished off its year-long reunion tour by recording an album of 21 new songs, making a deliberate effort to return to what bandleader Robert Pollard calls the "semi-collegial" approach of iconic GBV albums like Bee Thousand and Alien LanesLet's Go Eat The Factory is some kind of return to form: sprawling, variegated, and yet still recognizably and coherently Guided By Voices in both its literal and mythic senses.

Choosing to eschew the recording studio, Let's Go Eat The Factory was instead manufactured in the living rooms, basements, and garages of various long-time band members.

Some tracks were recorded more-or-less live at Mitch Mitchell's garage, where the band would often practice back in the early- and mid-90s. These sessions comprised Mitch, Bob, and Jimmy Pollard, Bob's brother and long-time collaborator, who, though never a part of the touring ensemble, always played a crucial role on the classic-era releases. Some tracks were improvised over acoustic jam sessions at Greg Demos' house. Many were recorded at Tobin Sprout's place in Wherever, Michigan, and later lovingly fucked with in order to achieve the proper level of weirdness. Band members switched instruments (e.g. Bob plays drums; Mitch plays drums; Jimmy Pollard plays bass; Greg plays lead guitar; Toby plays pretty much everything; etc.) and Bob gladly accepted input from the rest of the band. Tobin Sprout wrote or co-wrote and sings on six out of the 21 songs.

The aesthetic is very much in keeping with Guided By Voices, but in some unexpected ways (more prevalent use of keyboards and samples, for one thing) the 21st century can’t help but poke its nose into the resulting music. Devoted fans of Bee Thousand will not be disappointed in, for instance, the demonically tuneful "Chocolate Boy," or the relentless chug of "We Won't Apologize For The Human Race," which Tobin Sprout describes as "Peter Gabriel singing 'I Am The Walrus.'" Other standouts include "Doughnut For A Snowman," which Pollard calls "the goofiest, twinkliest song I’ve ever written," or "Spider Fighter," a Tobin Sprout number that was in fact the first song title conceived for the new album, and which features a piano coda that Pollard likens to "a Pete Townshend demo for Lifehouse."

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Guided By Voices | "The Unsinkable Fats Domino" | 'Let's Go Eat The Factory'

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Photo Credit: Michael Lavine
Photo Credit: Rich Turiel
Photo Credit: Rich Turiel
Photo Credit: Matt Davis


Rolling Stone || Single Review || November 2011
Spin || Must Hear Feature || December 2011
Spin || Album Review || December 2011
Magnet || December 2011
Under The Radar || May 2012

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05 22 14           Philadelphia /  Trocadero Theater
05 23 14           New York /  Bowery Ballroom
05 24 14           Washington /  Black Cat
06 02 14           Des Moines /  Woolys
06 03 14           Omaha /  The Waiting Room
06 04 14           Englewood /  The Gothic Theatre
06 06 14           Spokane /  Knitting Factory
06 07 14           Portland /  Wonder Ballroom
06 08 14           Seattle /  The Showbox at the Market
06 10 14           Santa Cruz /  Rio Theatre
06 11 14           San Francisco /  The Regency Ballroom
06 13 14           Los Angeles /  The Fonda Theatre
06 14 14           Solana Beach /  Belly Up Tavern
06 15 14           Phoenix /  Crescent Ballroom
06 18 14           Lawrence /  The Granada

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