Conceived during the sub-freezing Polar Vortex of 2014, the next Guided By Voices record is Cool Planet.
It’s another wineskin full of great songs, recorded in a single proper studio for the first time since their inexhaustible reformation. There’s some unusually consistent and consistently awesome production on display, thanks to the array of vintage equipment on offer at Cyberteknics Creative Studios in Dayton, Ohio. Cool Planet also offers a weighty crunch that will lay you flat, perhaps due in part to the (re-)addition of late-version Guided By Voices tub-thumper Kevin March on drums.
Robert Pollard has talked in recent months about having refined his approach to songwriting (as if that was a thing that needed to happen) and the tunes he’s written for Cool Planet stack up against the best he’s ever done, including the hard-hitting title track, which just begs to be played live. Guitarist Tobin Sprout steps up with (among others) a Bowie-esque song (“Psychotic Crush”) and a Beatle-esque number (“All American Boy”).
Look what Guided By Voices have done for the world since reforming in 2010. Six high-quality full-length albums in less than four years. And that’s not counting EPs, singles, tours, or solo records. If the sorry state of the present day indie-, alt- or just plain rock landscape is the disease, Guided By Voices is the cure! Do not take in moderation.