Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Our Cubehouse Still Rocks (2010)

Our Cubehouse Still Rocks
(2010, Guided by Voices Inc.)

The fourth Boston Spaceships LP in 3 years. The same Boston Spaceships recording formula takes place as the past records. Chris Slusarenko (ex-GBV, The Takeovers) plays all the instruments while John Moen (Decemberists) plays drums, and Pollard handles the vocals/melody lines. The entire record proves to be the most solid of the catalog, perhaps. It also has the most '70's/'80s radio rock feel to it that is pulled off rather effortlessly. A few harmless duds appear on this , but no real pieces of shit on this full-length.  Boston Spaceships continued their reign of glory for another year.

Track Star- 4 Evidence given that Pollard's writing process is mumbling shit into a tape recorder of some sort. Well,t hat evidence is leaked in the first 10 seconds of "Track Star." But then, the song explodes into an ambitious, catchy as fuck, mini-rock opera that propels the LP into territory unseen for Boston Spaceships thus far. Not the greatest, Pollard track, but a real jolt in the ass.

John The Dwarf Wants To Become An Angel- Mid-tempo pop greatness that shines a bright light on rehashing late '90s GBV.  A brief 2:49 that is radio ready. Melancholy and bouncy. Indie rock lives! Oh yeah, that title is for the birds though.

I See You Coming- 4 This sounds like a stream of conscience, Pollard late-night tune recorded into a boombox and distributed to Boston Spaceships.  However, Slusarenko and Moen make due with this lazy tune, carried by an effortless Pollard melody.

Fly Away (Terry Sez)- 3   GBV tribute seems to being paid toward this one. The verses are clear UTBUTS/Mag Earwhig! style songwriting.  However, the choruses are flat out boring and stink of Pollard solo recorded toss-offs.  Such a damn shame. 

Trick Of The Telekinetic Newlyweds- 50 second intro of vocals and reverb slathered guitars break intro mid-tempo format of the same, but with drum backbone. Song doesn't really go anywhere, but is a pleasant mid-tempo stall track. 

Saints Don't Lie- 3  Bar room guitars sway in sleaze pop, power-chord riff fashion as Pollard sings surprisingly melodically over them giving you an unexpected poke in the ribs. The chorus is as stead and satisfying as the verses. Solid for a track that seems doomed to be monotonous.

The British And The French- High tuned guitar part gives this an elfin feel.  Pure Brit-pop as Pollard pulls out an extra special British accent. Pretty goddamn cheesy. Undeniably, catchy. OR, some might wanna punch this song's face in. 

Unshaven Bird- 4 Closing out the A side, this tune beings with a breezy, vocal melody before kicking into arena rock mode, dropping out, and then back into indie guitar picking.  Laid back, killer side closer! Like a thick moss, it grows slowly. What?

Come On Baby Grace- Stupid as shit lyrics flower into pure stupid as shit power pop riff. But, like a stupid shit, I can't resist. The song never gets too sweet, breaking into a semi-Springsteen chorus. 

Freedom Rings- 3 The longest track of the LP, lasting nearly 4 minutes. "Freedom Rings" starts off lo-fi, breaks into normal LP mode for this record, and proceeds to spew out a bluesy riff rocker akin to a Zeppelin line.  None too original. But certainly not terrible by any means. As a concept, it kind of rules.

Stunted- Stunted is essentially what the title implies.  A stunted 11th track in the LP sequence.  After a solid sample of songs, "Stunted" falls on partially deaf ears. 

Bombadine2 Assaulting guitar and drum fills stretch closer to a lost denim rock period phase. Out-of-left field orchestral electronics pop in too! Why the fuck not?  Not worth spitting in disgust, but far from a jaw dropper.

Airwaves3 Smoking pot in the '70s has paid off for our faithful crew. Think Elton John, maybe? Easy paced acoustic lead (electrically backed) song.  "Airwaves" is a pure bullshit throw-away to days past that works wonders.

Dunkirk Is Frozen4 Acid Ranch opening spills into weed soaked blaze of uptempo guitar boost.  Repeated lyrics from Pollard with no oomph plays out brilliantly.  Yes!

King Green Stamp- 3  Short, unmemorable stream of lyrics over slow anthemic guitar deceleration.  Not bad by any means.  Just a nod, and a shrug. 

In The Bathroom (Up 1/2 The Night)- 3 A closer with this title has the potential to be the worst thing ever heard by anyone ever.  However.... This song delivers so well, that I almost can't contain myself, with its anthem delivery.  Still, Pollard sings "In the bathroom, up half the night" over and over, and I remember what this song is all about. 


  1. I'd give "Telekinetic Newlyweds" and "Unshaven Birds" each a 5. Why did the Boston spaceships break up? One of RP's best bands.

  2. Listening to "I see you coming" right now. Damn good musicianship. Followed by that guitar assault on "Fly Away..." Whew.

  3. I see you coming: 5. The build up of the song is perfect.