Guided By Voices: The Bears For Lunch

Third album of 2012 by reunited combo.

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An odd sort, Robert Pollard, songwriter for Guided By Voices. His music so vividly reminds you of milestones in the rock canon that it borders on pastiche – White Flag, here, is more like REM than most REM – yet he feels a compulsive urge to record and release albums, putting out two solo works this year, on top of GBV’s prodigious output.

And yet again, his songs are cursory, as if he loses interest in them midway through. The promising Smoggy Boy checks out after just 34 seconds.

Anyway, here’s The Bears For Lunch, another to add to the pile. There’s Hüsker Dü hard drive on opener King Arthur The Red, wide-eyed 60s psychedelia, pastoral plucking and epic shredding, as well as the odd original moment, such as the morse code signal guitar of Tree Fly Jet.

It’s an album that never feels quite necessary, then, but is eminently listenable throughout, the work of seasoned craftsmen.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.