Robert Pollard, 'The Crawling Distance' (Guided by Voices Inc.)

6
The Crawling Distance
Critical Mass
Label: Guided By Voices Inc.

by Rob O'connor

This solo album by the ridiculously prolific former Guided by Voices leader, with help from instrumental accomplice Todd Tobias, features another ten songs of standard Pollard-isms -- vaguely British, Robyn Hitchcock–esque vocals warped by reverb and Echoplex mazes; surrealistic, first-thought-next-thought lyrics; sudden loud crunches of lo-fi guitar; and melodies that soar but never quite achieve the permanence of his best work. One notable change: He's actually easing up and expanding some songs past the three-and even four-minute mark. Dare we call him a balladeer?

Listen: "Red Cross Vegas Night" (DOWNLOAD MP3)

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