Conceived during the sub-freezing Polar Vortex of 2014,
the next Guided By Voices record is Cool Planet.
It’s another wineskin full of great songs, recorded in a
single proper studio for the first time since their inexhaustible
reformation. There’s some unusually consistent and
consistently awesome production on display, thanks to
the array of vintage equipment on offer at Cyberteknics
Creative Studios in Dayton, Ohio. Cool Planet also offers
a weighty crunch that will lay you flat, perhaps due in part
to the (re-)addition of late-version Guided By Voices tubthumper
Kevin March on drums.
Robert Pollard has talked in recent months about having
refined his approach to songwriting (as if that was a thing
that needed to happen) and the tunes he’s written for Cool
Planet stack up against the best he’s ever done, including
the hard-hitting title track, which just begs to be played
live. Guitarist Tobin Sprout steps up with (among others) a
Bowie-esque song (“Psychotic Crush”) and a Beatle-esque
number (“All American Boy”).
Look what Guided By Voices have done for the world
since reforming in 2010. Six high-quality full-length albums
in less than four years. And that’s not counting EPs,
singles, tours, or solo records. If the sorry state of the present
day indie-, alt- or just plain rock landscape is the disease,
Guided By Voices is the cure! Do not take in moderation.