If you thought John Frusciante was prolific (releasing 6 records in six months), think again. Robert Pollard has just released 3 records in one week... and that's just his most recent stuff. As Guided By Voices, he was pretty much kicking out a record a year, alongside literally dozens of solo/side-projects - many under the banner of the Fading Captain series. Check out the excellent GBV Database for a thorough discography, as well as an exclusive collection of rarities to download.
With the demise of GBV in 2004, these releases have taken a more central stage, and with three at once you could never complain of non-proliferation.
The Takeovers is a collaboration with former GBV bassist Chris Slusarenko, with other guests such as Dan Peters from Mudhoney. On paper it is possibly the most conventional of the three new records. The record starts with news-headline-style spoken word track, bringing a sense of impending doom to the proceedings. It also starts the album off with a focus that is rarely seen from Pollard. Insane/Cool It is a lo-fi rocker, but from First Spill Is Free onwards the tone of much of the album is almost concept-like, with a sense of 'the end of the party', and the come-down (of America...?).
OK, let's back that up a bit, as I'm reading way too much into it. Although the news-headline-style voice comes up again later, the message is not carried through with much clarity, and the album quickly looses focus. Sweet Jelly and The Public Dance are highlights, with the instrumental The Public Dance in particular capturing the down beat vibe mentioned earlier, sounding like a club band playing to a near empty room at 3am in the morning.
With a bit more focus the record could have been classic, but unfortunately nothing quite comes close to the boni-fide classics contained on every single GBV record, and it is quickly superseded by the other two new releases.
...continue to Psycho And The Birds.