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Guided by Voices drops two albums in three weeks

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When Dayton, Ohio’s Guided by Voices released two albums in three weeks, it merely indicated that founder Robert Pollard has not flagged in 30 years of prolific writing. The crisp production in both studio and stage performance, though, indicates most notions of DIY engineering have been shelved in favor of the kind of sound that producer (and former leader of the Cars) Ric Ocasek wrung from GbV in 1999-2000. On the 15 tracks of the new studio release Space Gun, the twin ringing guitars of Doug Gillard and Bobby Bare Jr. provide a resonant emphasis for unusually compassionate songwriting from Pollard, evident in tracks like “Sport Component National” and “I Love Kangaroos.” GbV’s live Asbury Park set, Ogre’s Trumpet, delivers the first live renditions of 2015-18 songs, often much improved from the studio. But classic 1990s songs that dominate the last half of the 25-track set have an arena-rock depth that can be unnerving; hardcore fans may long for a bit more tinny sounds and drunken delivery.
File next to: Sebadoh, Superchunk, Joseph Airport

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