Friday, April 12, 2013

The Pipe Dreams of Instant Prince Whippet EP (2002)

The Pipe Dreams of Instant Prince Whippet EP
(2002, Fading Captain Series)


Guided by Voices 2002 EP featured a whopping 10 songs!  FOR AN EP! That hadn't been done since.... well... since Guided by Voices released their 1996 EP Sunfish Holy Breakfast.  While that EP contained the lo to mid-fi sounds of a spontaneous, mid-'90s scrappy, indie band, The Pipe Dreams Of Instant Prince Whippet is a solid, full band, fairly well produced gloomy progressive effort.  Released after the slightly awkward LP Universal Truths And Cycles, this EP finds the band in even greater mysticism and dreary wizardry. Six of the songs on this EP were actually released as b-sides on four separate 7''s released for the Universal Truths... LP.
  


SIDE A:
Visit This Place- 4 Prog power-pop completed with swirling guitar crunch and an unsteady hammering beat. Upwardly arranged choruses are big, and undeniably catchy.  A little bit on the “arena” rock side but this time with a strong, twisting opening.

Swooping Energies- 2 Terse and taught.  Stilted verses, limp choruses sprinkled with cock-rock attitude.

Keep It Coming- 1 Wizard-pop. A ballad fit for this Prince Whippet fella, but not necessarily for everyone else. Extremely irritating Pollard vocal, as he melodically matches the exact guitar riff.  Slow and gloomy looses the race.  Tuck me in a put me to bed.

Action Speaks Volumes-  2 Long, drag-ass doom prog.  Same repetitive post-punk riff plods along like a dying train while reverb drenched Pollard vocals are trying to soar to the high heavens but get lost. Psych guitar and noise solos are kind of cool.

Stronger Lizards- 2 Under a minute!  Refreshing after the nearly 4 minute dirge of “Actions Speaks Volumes.” BUT, this song isn’t refreshing at all. It’s just short and really goes nowhere. Compact boredom.



SIDE B:
The Pipe Dreams of Instant Prince Whippet- 2 Mid-tempo, clean and light pop, with semi-creepy Pollard nasal harmonies that are surreal and intriguing. Still, not much light at the end of this tunnel.

Request Pharmaceuticals-  2 Modulated Pollard vocals over buzzing repetitive stomp. No real chorus, just a bunch of bleak hammering away. Dim and dull.

For Liberty- 1 Pollard and electric guitar for under a minute. Welcome to Dullsville- Population Pollard. Song is as exciting as its title.

Dig Through My Window- 4 Slow, steady piano rocker, minus the piano.  Guitar crunch and great lead jangle play out in what melodically sounds like the product of Pollard listening to “Golden Slumbers” one too many times. No standout hook, no real moments of glory (sans the psych, lead part at the end that makes it kind of worth hearing). BUT, this is downright beautiful! After a trail of zzzzzz's leading from Dayton over the Strait of Giboring, this one saves the day.Check out that cello fade to boot!


Beg For a Wheelbarrow- 2 Head-bobber in the most mundane sense of the term. Not too many standing in line to beg for this wheelbarrow. Over long EP comes to a close. Feels like a long night of drinking. Goodnight. 

3 comments:

  1. One of my least favorite GBV ep's. I was surprised when I first heard it, cos I thought Universal Truths... was a pretty solid album.

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  2. My favourite GBV EP. It just flows so effortlessly form start to finish. A real cohesive effort.

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  3. I really like Beg for a Wheelbarrow on this record and it's even better live.

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