Guided By Voices - Lets Go Eat the Factory - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Guided By Voices - Lets Go Eat the Factory

by Steve Reynolds Rating:5.5 Release Date:2012-01-15

Guided By Voices don't need much of an introduction. Twenty-five years in existence and 18 albums safely banked, the 'classic' line up have reformed for new long player Let's Go Eat the Factory. Throughout the life span and rotating band members, the omnipresent Bob Pollard has continued to deliver his sharp and rather canny lyrics intertwined round sweet melodic lo-fi pop. GBV have never ever been 'hip' and have relied on a hardcore cult following who are more than happy to breathe in the beer-swilling, simply arranged songs.

Let's Go Eat the Factory tries to carry on where all the other albums left off but has a much more subdued, melancholy and fatigued feel about it. You can't tire of a band's ability to continually deliver punch and zest in their songs and it's what they do best with the rather heady Beatles-esque opener 'Laundry and Lazers'. ...Factory was recorded on a rock-bottom budget, mostly sounding like it's been spliced together from a cutting room floor. Never fans of drawing things out, over half of the tracks clock in at less than two minutes. On 'The Room Taking Shape' (43 secs long), Pollard's bumbling delivery and stripped-back guitar seems like the memoirs of a happy room-bound alcoholic. 'Hang Mr Kite' is in similar lonesome vein with a rather haunting viola.

Some of the tracks do seem somewhat cut off at the jugular ('God Loves Us', 'The Things That Never Need') - just as they're just gets going we're left high and dry. However, 'Waves' is typical old-school GBV with its driving guitar and coaxing drums, although Pollard sounds unusually withdrawn and reluctant to sing and his delivery reflects an unusually downbeat feel to the whole of the album.

...Factory is patchy, despite the sweet sounding guitar and fine piano work on 'Spiderfighter'. It coughs and splutters and at times threatens to kick into life but has far too many fits and stumbles to have a real connection with the audience. There are no doubts that Pollard still has craft and guile lying within his booze-addled cranium, it just seems he can't be arsed to lift his head above the parapet enough to make some classic GBV songs once more.

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