Bee Thousand

Bee Thousand

5.0 2
by Guided by Voices
     
 

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Guided by Voices released seven albums on tiny independent labels before the alterna-rock underground discovered this Dayton, Ohio, anomaly. The success of 1993's Bee Thousand enabled singer-songwriter-guitarist-producer Robert Pollard to quit his job as a fourth-grade teacher and make a career of his skill for high-grade '60sSee more details below

Overview

Guided by Voices released seven albums on tiny independent labels before the alterna-rock underground discovered this Dayton, Ohio, anomaly. The success of 1993's Bee Thousand enabled singer-songwriter-guitarist-producer Robert Pollard to quit his job as a fourth-grade teacher and make a career of his skill for high-grade '60s rock tunes recorded on bargain basement equipment. Kings of "lo-fi" rock, GBV's home-studio pop tunes are more sketches than songs -- a great punk guitar intro, an unforgettable Beatlesque melody, and some whimsically cryptic lyrics fly by, all in the time it takes to make a sandwich. But GBV packs more pleasure into their minutia than most guitar bands can spread over a 70-minute CD. Pollard's beery bluster of a voice and partner Tobin Sprout's fairy dust crooning keep things endlessly cute, while the band's short, punchy tunes fly by like stations on the radio dial of your dreams. A wonderful record.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
The cult of indie rock thrives on the unexpected discovery, and in 1994 Guided by Voices were just the sort of musical phenomenon no one figured was still out there -- 30-something rock obsessives cranking out fractured guitar-driven pop tunes in a laundry room. Robert Pollard and his stable of beer buddies/backing musicians had been churning out stuff like Bee Thousand for years, but the album's surprise critical success marked the first time the group found a significant audience outside their hometown, and it made a clear case for Guided by Voices' virtues -- as well as their flaws. From the moment "Hardcore UFOs" kicks in, it's obvious that Pollard has an uncanny gift for a hook and a melody, and Bee Thousand's 20 cuts are dotted with miniature masterpieces like "Echos Myron," "Smothered in Hugs," and "Queen of Cans and Jars." However, there are also more than a few duds that threaten to cancel out the goodwill the great songs generate, and Pollard is an acquired taste as a lyricist -- his freakishly poetic verse has a real charm, but it's hard to figure out what he's on about. (GBV's other principal songwriter, Tobin Sprout, contributes less often, but manages a higher batting average.) The lo-tech rumble of the album's D.I.Y. production also wavers between being a help and a hindrance, depending on the songs, and as musicians Guided by Voices veer between sounding like inspired amateurs and, well, just amateurs. On Bee Thousand, Guided by Voices sound like a passionate and gloriously quirky garage band fronted by a thrillingly and maddeningly idiosyncratic songwriter; its many pearly moments make it a fascinating discovery for rock enthusiasts, but a few years would pass before this band was fully earning the new accolades showered upon it.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/20/1994
Label:
Scat Records
UPC:
0753417003521
catalogNumber:
35
Rank:
32816

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