Down By The Racetrack EP
(2013, Guided by Voices Inc.)
The first EP release of the classic lineup reunion, and first release of a busy early 2013 release schedule, GBV reach back in the scrap pile of ideas to release this nostalgic sounding EP, circa '93-'94. The EP has a complete throw-away, off-time, out of tune feel similar to that of The Clown Prince Of The Menthol Trailer, or say Get Out Of My Stations. Some of these tracks work, some don't. Very ramshackle and unstable, which can make it a fun listen. This particular EP can leave you recalling all the reasons why so many fell in love with the band in the first place. On the other hand, some moments do feel a little forced. This throwback slab of wax is harmless fun, but short of essential.
Travels Faster Through Thin Hair- 3 Pollard sounds like he's singing into an aluminum can, while dual acoustics ring out in early GBV slapped together fashion. Thin melody travels through "thin hair" I guess. Get's more comfortable with repeated listens.
Pictures of the Man- 1 Enjoy the sound of druid temple guards humming chants over uninteresting repetitive guitar riff that doesn't end? If you answered "yes," you won't agree with my numerical review of this song.
Amanda Grey- 4 Tobin Sprout penned and played ditty. Brittle, Beatle-esque harmonies over crackled organ. Tinge of Daniel Johnston can be found in there. Haunting. Beautiful. Short as shit. Great formula.
Standing in a Puddle of Flesh- 2 Piano pounding laced tune, as Pollard slips into full mock-British accent mode. Seemingly tries to capture the spirit of snippet tracks off Fast Japanese Spin Cycle (and others), but fails.
Copy Zero- 4 Seems to be a Sprout penned instrumental with Pollard vocals and melody accompaniment. Dreamlike lyrics, a botched choral melody, and shaky leg drums make this one an actual nice and genuine trip back to GBV shambled EP territory.
Down By the Racetrack- 3 Tobin Sprout sings this slopped together garage garbage tune with Mitch Mitchell, wherein the lyrics he seems to plead with Mitch Mitchell about something. What? I don't know. Songs really not much of anything, but it's not terrible.