This past year, while most bands were working diligently to release an mp3 or two, Robert Pollard and Dayton, OH indie legends Guided By Voices calmly released the most music they've ever produced in a single year: Seven seven-inches, a limited edition box set, and three full-length albums. Oh, plus Pollard put out two solo records. I don't think I missed anything, but if I did, leave an angry nerd note in the comments.
Most GBV nerds were already freaking out that the band had gotten back together, with their classic line-up of Pollard, Tobin Sprout, Mitch Mitchell, Kevin Fennell, and Greg Demos. This powerful nostalgia blast was a hell of a lot better than trudging through the more forgettable moments in the Voices' discography, which is riddled with compilation appearances, lackluster live records, and albums that veered into unfavorable directions. By the end of 2011, the band was in full-on mid-90s mode. I got so excited that I found myself referring to my girlfriend as my high school sweetheart. Things were getting interesting.
In 2012, while frantically scouring the internet for news about yet another GBV release, I grew pleasantly fatigued. "Holy shit, they put out another single" and "When did they release this Record Store Day box set?" were just a few of the bittersweet moments of my year-long, adrenaline-fueled record hoarding fit. The band had moved from simple non-label self-releases to an all-new Guided By Voices Inc. DIY label. This final step is where all the controversy came in.
"Keep It In Motion," off of the LP Class Clown Spots a UFO.
As the proprietor of his own record label, front man Robert Pollard and his group would essentially become their own editors. More output meant more songs meant more product in what was to become a new, seemingly unedited round of releases.
Some fans rejoiced, others scoffed. Three full lengths and over half a dozen singles later, some began to question the quality of the releases and the motives behind their musical onslaught.
"The Unsinkable Fats Domino," off of the LP Let's Go Eat the Factory.
The most accurate answers surrounding this phenomenon lie within the minds of the true fans. With any group one becomes passionate over, more releases equals a greater connection to the band, good or bad. Guided By Voices is back to their lo-fi, ear candy-a-minute agenda and as I see it, the disappointment of a single chorus pop song followed by an anti-climactic downer track is exactly what the group has striven to represent. In the purest essence of all that is independent music, 2012 was the year that Guided By Voices raised the indie rock bar. Bravo.
Previously - The World Will Not End This Week
Ace of Base's Secret Nazi Past
Before he founded Ace of Base, Ulf Ekberg was a member of Commit Suiside, a Nazi punk band.
Parquet Courts - "Light Up Gold Road Trip" (Full Documentary)
In this new documentary, Noisey follows rising indie rockers Parquet Courts from Mexico to Texas and London as they tour to support their debut LP, 'Light Up Gold.'
Yung Lean Doer Is the Weirdest 16-Year-Old White Swedish Rapper You'll Hear This Week
Yung Lean raps over pillow-fluffy beats and raps about glory holes and Arizona Iced Tea. Who the fuck is this kid? And why is he like this?
Adam Ant - The British Masters, Chapter 6
Noisey's John Doran talks with the great post-punk pop star Adam Ant about tribal body mods and layering tape.
Photos: Taking Acid at Coachella
When Paley sent these photos in, she included a nice little caveat over email that we've decided to reprint here in full, not only because it's too good to edit, but because her photographs of her and her weird buddies riding the snake are some of the best
R.I.P. Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013)
On Thursday, the hyper-talented graphic designer, artist, and famed album cover creator Storm Thorgerson passed away after a battle with cancer. He was 69 years old.
The Internet Is Scary
As of six months ago, my Facebook fanpage is like a dojo where hormonal teenagers hone their technique. Here is a heartfelt poem from some kid who wants to rape, kill, and marry me.
I Accidentally Touched Little Richard's Butt One Time
It was in the Detroit airport. After it happened Little Richard said, "He graze my derriere."
Listen to St. Lucia's Remix of The Colourist's "Little Games"
Last month, Cali quartet the Colourist released "Little Games," and St. Lucia just pulled a warm Balearic blanket over the whole thing, sanding away its rough edges with bright synths and lightly gated percussion.
Aaron Montaigne, Godfather of Screamo, is More Interesting Than You Can Ever Hope to Be - Part Two
On surviving combat in Iraq and Afghanistan with the help of magic, 'Bladerunner,' and everything in between.