Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Zero to 99 (2009)

Zero to 99
(2009, Guided by Voices Inc.)

The year? 2009. The output? The 2nd Boston Spaceships LP in the same year!!!  Zero to 99 came out a mere 8 months after The Planets Are Blasted, continuing the rejuvenated  Pollard led machine Also, this LP marked the beginning of rehashing old demos from the Suitcase series, a practice that would continue on the next 2 Boston Spaceships' LPs, and their Camera Found The Ray Gun EP, released the following year. 

Pluto the Skate- 4 Originally a demo on the Suitcase box set, the angular, and bizarre narcotic pop-noise of “Pluto the Skate” is now a fully fleshed out opener. Clanging, fuzzing, with violins, monster riffs, and drums being thrown down the stairs, this is a strange killer of an opener that knocks you back on your heels.

How Wrong You Are- 4 One of the most annoying verses, juxtaposed with a super simple, hooky chorus. Complete with “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” high pitched man vocal part.

Radical Amazement- 4 Mid-tempo, mid-range rocker. Great choruses. Solid.

Found Obstruction Rock and Roll (We’re the Ones Who Believe in Love)- 2 Rather annoying repetitive hard rocking song. If Pollard didn't sing in that eye roll worthy staccato British accent on this one, it might be doable.

Question Girl All Right- 3 Ultra baroque, British sounding piece that's hauntingly pretty in a Brian Jones type way, for the first half. The “chorus” part is simple and has a familiar hook to it. Great ending with “Queen of Cans and Jars”-esque guitar riff. A tad too long though.

Let It Rest a Little While- 5  Song is so goddamn delectable. Can I, in good faith without  getting beat up, say that? Fuck it. Yes I can. Smooth doubled vocals over steady, mid-90s, uptempo slacker rock.  Great bellowing ending to close out the song.

Trashed Aircraft Baby- 2 Swagger soaked song with vocals blown from the echoing megaphone of death. Lyrics in the chorus are pretty embarrassing. Unmemorable “hot rock.”

Psycho is a Bad Boy- 1 Silly bass heavy song. Pretty terrible song all around, trumpets and all.

Side B:
Godless- 2  Simple and serene, but not particularly memorable.

Meddle- 3 Originally on Suitcase. This is the fully formed, fleshed out version. Not nearly as intimate as the original. Verses are slightly grating, but the choruses are kind of cool.

Go Inside- 3 Swirling guitar jangle over slow tempo and doubled Pollard vocals. Hypnotically enjoyable if nothing else.

Mr. Ghost Town- 5 Repetitive guitar line is insanely hooky in a pop-punk way. Perhaps the most pop-punk song Pollard’s been involved with. Killer, catchy as hell ending that sounds like something They Might Be Giants might sing.

Return to Your Ship- 3 Quiet acoustic number with intruding sound effects and decent Pollard melodies.  

Exploding Anthills- 2 Another Suitcase redux song. This one’s pretty unmemorable. Sounds big, but it's got some weak choruses following some middle aged amped up stage rock.

The Comedian- 3  Mid-tempo. No real memorable melody, riff, or point of interest to hang your hat on, but the song is still pretty decent. Subtle attitude. Doesn't help that the song is one verse longer than it probably should be.

A Good Circuitry Soldier- 4  Yet another Suitcase rehash track. This one was a stand-out for actually being catchy on Suitcase. Here, it looses some of that charm, but it’s still a pretty solid closer.


  1. What? I love "trashed aircraft baby" and "exploding anthills"! And "Radical Amazement" might be my favorite Boston Spaceships song ever.

  2. Love "Question Girls All Right." I'd rank this as the best Boston Spaceships LP.

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