Guided by Voices – Alien Lanes

ARTIST: Guided By Voices                        220px-Alien_Lanes

TITLE:  Alien Lanes

YEAR RELEASED: 1995

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Motor Away

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Watch Me Jumpstart, As We Go Up We Go Down, Game of Pricks, My Valuable Hunting Knife, Striped White Jets, Blimps Go 90

LINEUP: Robert Pollard, Mitch Mitchell, Tobin Sprout, Greg Demos, Kevin Fennell

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Their first album for a ‘real’ record company (one that would give them an advance and all) filled up speakers with 28 lo-fi gems from Robert Pollard and Tobin Sprout. Most of them work.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Still sounding like they recorded the record on a tape recorder with dirty heads and held together with duct tape, Guided By Voices cranks out 28 pop/rock tunes on their Matador debut, and I’ll be darned if most of them work, somehow.

The first seven songs really set the tone, and while afterwards there’s a few lesser tracks, most of them have great melodies and choruses and hooks. I mean, hooks are what GBV are all about. Do we really care about what songs like “Blimps Go 90” or “Striped White Jets” are about? No, do we sing along? Yes.

Those who love clean, pristine production should steer clear. But why are you listening to GBV anyway?

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The shortest song,  the 19 second “Cigarette Tricks”, is credited to four people.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: A-:  Almost an essential release – and several tracks need to be in anyone’s collection.

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