Psycho And The Birds

Although it is the most lo-fi and rough edged of three new albums from GBV's Robert Pollard, All That Is Holy has some of the most promising moments. Recorded with long time collaborator Todd Tobias, the album was apparently done as home recordings by Pollard - who then sent on the demos to Tobias 'to dress them up'. That 'dressing up' is not particularly reflected in the sound, and in the age of the home computer there seems less and less need for the 8-track sound Pollard has long been enchanted by. The playing is distinctly amateur - sounding like a far from finished demo - but the songs are often inspiring and never dull.

The Killers is a unfinished rocker, which still sets the pace for the upbeat album. The 2 minute Father Is Good is a rough diamond capable of sitting on any great Guided By Voices album. The middle of the album is where it is at it's strongest, with a briefly coherent sequence of Alabama Sunrise, Jesus The Clockwork and Disturbed.... but ultimately things tail off again, and the album doesn't finish that strongly.

The demo sound is hard work, and occasionally grueling. Stick with it however, as the album contains some great material.

...continue to Keene Brothers.