Robert Pollard Is Off to Buissness
(2008, Guided by Voices Inc.)
Pollard returns with his second proper solo LP of 2008. Unlike the ultra lo-fi, found recordings album SupermanWas A Rocker, Robert Pollard Is Off To Business is a proper studio LP recorded with long-time collaborator Todd Tobias. RPIOTB is a rather strong outing, finding Pollard in full on song-structure mode. It's one of his shortest LPs, at 10 songs, but most tracks hit 3 minutes plus (the single "Weatherman And Skin Goddess" breaks the 5 minute mark!), a somewhat of a taxing duty given Pollard's penchant for short gems. The LP was also the first full-length released on Pollard's new label imprint, Guided by Voices Inc. following the label's first release, Pollard's Weatherman And Skin Goddess 12'' EP.
The Original Heart- 3 Sounds like some kind of jittery ‘80s rock. At first, a bit rough to listen to with its jilted pattern, and somewhat pieced together guitar chords. But, ultimately subtly catchy, and sappily uplifting.
The Blondes- 3 Slow tempoed, airy pop song with a killer hook in the last 40 seconds of the song. Fey synths and instrumentation keep this light. Never really over the top or tack into the brain moments though.
1 Years Old- 4 Keeping it short and peppy is pretty effective. Song is an upbeat sunny little goddamn dandy. Little surprises, but who needs 'em?
Gratification to Concrete- 4 Sounds like something off of Half-Smiles of the Decomposed. Pretty solid Pollard solo song, but could definitely do without that weird modulated sound effect playing the riff.
No One But I- 2 Start draggin' your ass, cause this one's quite downtrodden. Carelessly thrown together and overly long. Rough patch that’s rather pointless.
Weatherman and Skin Goddess- 4 Talk about a long one. At over 5 minutes, this is certainly an ambitious piece to release as the single. Pretty damn hooky and breezy without exuding a lame ora, this could’ve used a fat trimming. Mainly the proggy bridges and such, but still a comes up aces.
Confessions of a Teenage Jerk-Off- 1 Hmmmm. Guess it’s tough to come up with titles sometimes (i.e. “Teardrop Paintballs,” “Perverted Eyelash,” etc.) Too boot, song is also pretty terrible. Cold, boring, moody slow number with freezing synths in the background. No thanks jerk-off.
To the Path!- 3 Mini-epic song. Anthemic and pounding, but unfortunately the first half of the song suffers from a go nowhere feel. The second and third parts of the song are much catchier and hold the real interest.
Western Centipede- 4 Another anthem, this one a little more streamlined. Sounds like a big stage rocker, that’s fairly hooky. Pollard turns in strong vocal effort.
Wealth and Hell-Being- 3 Slow, minor chord chugger. Epic and cold closer that mostly works. “As we go up we go down” lyrics included. Call back to the ol' days.