Guided By Voices

Isolation Drills  Hear it Now

RS: 4of 5 Stars


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Guided By Voices have never quite risen above schoolteacher-turned-singer Robert Pollard's richly mythologized culthood. But Isolation Drills makes the case more persuasively than ever that these indie-pop godfathers should matter to more than just the loyalists. The latest hired-gun producer, Rob Schnapf (who's worked with Foo Fighters, Beck and Elliott Smith), finds the balance between frazzled serendipity and melodic luster that has long eluded GBV - resist the gloriously exuberant "Glad Girls" at your peril. Instead of basking in quirks and obtuse wordplay, Pollard digs behind the savant-slacker facade to find the misfit marinated in alcohol (the devastated "How's My Drinking?"); the seeker who finally finds what he's been looking for (the luminous folk-rock hymn "Twilight Campfighter"); the estranged lover who can't let go of the past ("The Brides Have Hit Glass"). Once slapdash with his talents, Pollard now turns even a ninety-nine-second fragment like "Sister I Need Wine" into a fully finished haiku of autumnal longing.


(Posted: Mar 5, 2001)


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