Seminal artist Guided By Voices will be making a stop at Mr Smalls this Saturday, 5.17. They are touring behind their new LP, Cool Planet. Lead Robert Pollard and company have been making lo-fi gold since the early 90's with the new record showing no slack. The album was recorded in a proper studio, the first for GBV since reuniting the original lineup in 2010. The eighteen track LP demonstrates their unique style and focus on single song structure. Known for his tremendous output of sonic treasure, Pollard is also featured at the local Pittsburgh Irma Freeman Center of Imagination for his collage artwork through May 23rd.
Recorded during the sub-freezing Polar Vortex of 2014, the next Guided by Voices record is titled Cool Planet. Here we have another wineskin full of great songs to listen to, recorded in a single proper studio - Cyberteknics in Dayton, Ohio - for the first time since their inexhaustible reformation. There’s some unusually consistent and consistently awesome production on Cool Planet, thanks to the array of vintage equipment on offer at Cyberteknics.
Cool Planet has a weighty crunch that will lay you flat, which is perhaps also in part due to the addition of ex-late-version GBV tub-thumper Kevin March on drums. Robert Pollard has talked in recent months about having refined his approach to songwriting (as if that was a thing that needed to happen) and the tunes he's written for Cool Planet stack up against the best he's ever done, including the hard hitting title track, which is just begging to be played live. Guitarist Tobin Sprout steps up with (among others) a Bowie-esque number ("Psychotic Crush") and a Beatle-esque number ("All American Boy") - it should be noted that Tobin recorded his songs for the most part at his home studio in Leland, Michigan, but they fit like Legos in the plastic palace of Cool Planet.
Look what Guided By Voices have done for the world since reforming in 2010. Six high-quality, full-length albums in less than four years. And that's not counting EPs, singles, tours, or solo records. If the sorry state of the present day indie- alt- or just plain rock landscape is the disease, GBV is the cure! Do not take in moderation.
Tickets are $25 can be found here. Doors at 7p with show beginning at 8p.