In 2002, Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices wished aloud for a chance to sing for Phantom Tollbooth, one of his favorite bands. He refers to the idea as “the band that would have ruled the world.” The next thing anyone knew, the former members of Phantom Tollbooth revisited their 1988 swan song album Power Toy (four stars at AllMusicGuide), erased all the vocals, and presented it to Pollard, who then created new vocal melody lines and lyrics. Named after a popular children’s book, Phantom Tollbooth was a strongly art-rock-influenced variation on the raging yet eclectic post-hardcore of Hüsker Dü and the Minutemen, incorporating quick tempo changes, noise experiments, and bits of jazz. The group was formed in 1984 in New York by guitarist Dave Rick — formerly of Yo La Tengo and a frequent collaborator with Bongwater, B.A.L.L., and King Missile — along with Gerald Smith and Jon Coats. The band put out three crazed records on Homestead before breaking up — like all good bands do — in 1988.