Guided By Voices
Meet The Star
Today we’re listening to “Meet The Star” by Guided By Voices
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Press releases aren’t supposed to make you laugh.
At least not intentionally, anyway. Yet I couldn't help but chuckle as I read one recently announcing the release of Welshpool Frillies, the latest release from Guided By Voices.
I laughed for two reasons:
First, it describes the band as “prolific.” For those of you who might not be familiar with the band, that’s a fantastic understatement. This is the band’s eighth record since 2020. Heck, it’s their 2nd this year, and we’re only a few weeks past the hallway point.
The second was this sentence: Robert Pollard has a very strong work ethic.
Is there anyone as reliably productive as Robert Pollard? The late Mark E. Smith of The Fall comes to mind. Maybe Glenn Donaldson of the Red, Pinks, and Purples. Maybe. Trying to navigate the sheer volume of the band’s discography (and adjacent projects) is the stuff of a Ph.D. thesis. There’s a lot there. It can be dizzying.
Luckily for us, the output is also consistently good. With so many records over the years (so, so many), it’d be easy to make something disposable or cheap, but they’ve managed to avoid that.
The songs are short, but there’s weight to them. It’s also just different enough to keep things interesting while delivering what brought you to the band in the first place—a tall ask after 40 years.
The sound continues evolving, but you never forget it’s a GBV record.
For some of you, I’m not saying anything new here. You’ve forgotten more than I know about the band, and I’m looking forward to hearing your take on this latest release.
For everyone else, “Meet The Star” is a typical Guided By Voices release- and I mean that in the best way. Compact, melodic, and plenty of what Under The Radar magazine describes as “gloriously shabby.” It takes a lot of work to look like you’re not anything— something that comes effortlessly to Pollard & co.
What won’t take a lot of effort is you enjoying this track. I think it’s great, and I think you will too. And that’s no joke.
The opener and second single, ‘Meet The Star’, commences with a heavy, chugging rhythm. It might be the sort of relentless beat you’d expect in the realms of hardcore or industrial music, but fans of Guided by Voices will know that they’ve flirted with the heavier side of things over the years. Immediately catchy, Pollard’s vocal melody floats on top of the instruments before the choking push of the verse gives way to a harmonious chorus. Bouncing between dark and light, ‘Meet The Star’ also delivers a heady, almost motorik finale, where all the elements converge, and the keyboard bursts through the mix for a frantic late twist.
Click here to read the rest of the review.
“Meet The Star” by Guided By Voices | Welshpool Frillies, 2023
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