Circus Devils, "Laughs Last"
Seemingly random — yet reliably clever — wordplay has long been a hallmark of Robert Pollard’s work. Along with prodigious output, that quality is something he shares not only with his primary group Guided by Voices, but with long-running side project Circus Devils. After more than a dozen albums, and for reasons known only to the principals — Pollard and brothers Tim and Todd Tobias — the group has decided to suspend operations. The straightforwardly (and aptly) titled Laughs Last
is the trio’s swan song (a best-of, Laughs Best, is being released simultaneously). The band explores a wider sonic palette than GBV: The hypnotic “Into Gear” is positively spooky. And with “To Each His Zone (Sunshine Baby Butt),” yet again Pollard indulges his penchant for tricking up a perfectly accessible melody with an off-kilter beat. Laughs Last
is both representative of Circus Devils and a fitting farewell.
File next to:
Guided by Voices, Flaming Lips, Starling Electric