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Earthquake Glue
     

Earthquake Glue

4.0 1
by Guided by Voices
 
Nearly 1,000 songs into a "career" (for lack of a better word) marked by more swerves than an iced-over Appalachian road, Guided By Voices majordomo Robert Pollard can still pull sonic surprises out of his hat at will. Earthquake Glue is a bit more polished than the band's last offering,

Overview

Nearly 1,000 songs into a "career" (for lack of a better word) marked by more swerves than an iced-over Appalachian road, Guided By Voices majordomo Robert Pollard can still pull sonic surprises out of his hat at will. Earthquake Glue is a bit more polished than the band's last offering, Universal Truths and Cycles, particularly on songs like the keyboard-drenched "I'll Replace You with Machines," where Pollard's fanciful Anglophilia launches him into territory usually occupied only by Jeff Lynne. While there are certainly elements of pomp -- nothing new in the world of GBV -- Earthquake Glue never inflates to the point of bloat: Psychedelic soirées like "My Son, My Secretary and My Country" and "Beat Your Wings" positively ooze Swinging London cool, while "The Best of Jill Hives" finds Pollard in neo-Dylan mode, cryptically lashing out at an object of his disaffection. Guitarists Doug Gillard and Nate Farley weave melodic tapestries that can bewitch (the swirling "My Kind of Soldier") or bewilder (the amped-up "A Trophy Mule in Particular"). Even though the band skip past the three-minute mark on a number of songs -- heresy in days of yore -- Earthquake Glue holds together with as much tenacity as anything in GBV's vast catalogue.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
For those who love the idea of Guided By Voices a bit more than the reality, it's sometimes hard not to be frustrated with Robert Pollard, a scattershot genius who is equally well-defined by both halves of that description. GBV leader Pollard is a startlingly gifted and prolific songwriter and musician, but he also displays either an inability or a disinterest in separating his wheat from his chaff, as anyone who has tried to plow through his relentless barrage of side projects has doubtless noticed. Which is why Earthquake Glue is such a pleasant surprise -- it may well be the most consistent and satisfying Guided By Voices album to date, and if its potent rock crunch is bettered by 2001's superb Isolation Drills, this comes close enough to make any fan pummel his air guitar with glee. While the sharper focus and tight set list of Earthquake Glue is impressive, just as important is how good Guided By Voices sounds as a band these days; while usually regarded as little more than Pollard's backing group, this edition of GBV has become tight, emphatic, and joyously powerful after several years on the road and in the studio, with the guitars of Doug Gillard and Nate Farley and the rhythm section of Tim Tobias and Kevin March giving the tunes all the smarts and twice the muscle their creator could have hoped for. And while Earthquake Glue lacks the clunky lo-fi ambience of Bee Thousand or Alien Lanes, these songs suggest Pollard and his collaborators have been able to take the spontaneity and adventure of those tracks and graft them into a better structured and more satisfying framework. If Earthquake Glue isn't a masterpiece, it's as close as this band can be expected to get, and is the rare Guided By Voices effort that's imaginative enough for longtime loyalists and tight enough for dabblers at the same time.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/19/2003
Label:
Matador Records
UPC:
0744861057420
catalogNumber:
10574

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Guided by Voices   Primary Artist
Tom Byrne   Group Member
Tim Tobias   Group Member
Robert Pollard   Group Member
Kevin March   Group Member
Jim Pollard   Group Member
Doug Gillard   Group Member
Nate Farley   Group Member
Charley Balderson   Group Member
Tony Conley   Group Member
Jim Hamby   Group Member
Bruce Horner   Group Member
Nathan Mosley   Group Member
Scott Ryan   Group Member
Todd Tobias   Keyboards,Noise

Technical Credits

Guided by Voices   Producer
John Shough   Engineer
Robert Pollard   Composer
Greg Norman   Engineer
Esther Dennis Middle School 8th Grade Band   Introduction
Tom Pfronger   Direction
Chad Smith   Engineer
Todd Tobias   Producer,Engineer,Atmosphere

Customer Reviews

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Earthquake Glue 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another great album from Bob and the boys. As consistent as any of their "polished" stuff (Isolation Drills, Do the Collapse) without sacrificing the "classic" GBV sounds of Bee Thousand or Alien Lanes. It's a crime this band hasn't moved beyond it's cult status yet, but that's why I love them.