Guided By Robert Pollard

In Shop We Build Electric Chairs
Professional Music by Nightwalker 1984-1993

1999
by Propellerless

What got me into Guided By Voices in the first place was “Squirmish Frontal Room”
which was included on the sampler disc from CMJ New Music Monthly.
That was the first thing I heard from them,
really noisy, but I liked it.
I also liked the idea that they have been making home recordings for years.

Me and my friends did the same since high school,
almost two decades before finding out about GBV.

With our band, The Armadillos Plates, we would sometimes just use acoustic
guitars, with a microphone inside of it, for fake amplification,
or rubbing the microphone on the strings,
which had a chaotic psychedelic sound to it.

We would record through the phone for a real weird effect.

Or sometimes we’d record Shortwave radio
or backwards recordings for background noise,
usually we didn’t have a drummer and when we did,
it was basically just pounding.
Much like this album,
Which is probably why I like this album.

I’m sure everyone out there is saying,
“Oh My God!
He even likes the Nightwalker album?”

There are actually some recordings I’m not too crazy about
or haven’t gotten into yet in Bob’s massive canon of recorded output,
but this is not one of them.

I grew up listening to some pretty weird stuff,
so I appreciate a weird noisy record.

But I can completely understand why some people,
especially those that jumped aboard at “Do The Collapse”
would probably run out of the room.

“Drum Solo” which starts off the album,
sounds like the drummer started playing drums about a week
before recording this track.
About halfway through a backwards track comes in,
which gives it a Psychedelic feel to it, ala Beatles.

There are a few real songs with words,
which could have shown up on the “Suitcase” box sets,
like, “The Fink Swan (Swims Away)” with Bob singing along with an
acoustic guitar and a swirling echo.

“Dogwood Grains” is Bob singing along to his acoustic guitar with
the television playing in the back ground.
“Amazed” could have appeared on an early GBV ep.

“Trashed Canned Goods” originally appeared on the unreleased album,
“The Corpse Like Sleep Of Stupidity” which was an early version of
“Propeller,” but it is edited down to a little more than a minute and a half,
instead of it’s original four minute plus version.

“Kenneth Ray” sounds a lot of my garage band,
with the drummer pounding away, a guitar making noise
and Bob reciting something and yelling instead of singing.

“U235” is almost identical to something we recorded,
which is an acoustic guitar with someone blowing randomly on a recorder.

I should play this for my friends I recorded with,
because we made the same sort of noise and tell them,
“We could have made it, if we stuck with it like GBV did.”
Of course we couldn’t of, but it would be funny to say.

“Ceramic Cock Einstein” and “Those Little Bastards Will Bite”
which is over eleven minutes, sounds like a garage band
that picked up their instruments for the first time
and just started playing.

About seven minutes into “Those Little Bastards Will Bite” you hear the riff
to “Postal Blowfish” taking shape.
At about eight and a half minutes, you can hear Bob in the background
singing the lyrics.

I wonder if that song came from this session.

Myself I really enjoyed this record,
I wish Bob would release more like it.
But I seriously doubt many would share my opinion.

But I also enjoyed the chaotic noise of their first two singles,
“Lucifer's Aching Revolver” and “Firehouse Mountain.”
But those also are definitely not for everyone.

Better than John and Yoko’s “Two Virgins” and
Lou Reed’s “Metal Machine Music”,
but that’s not really saying much, is it?

The vinyl version comes in beautiful clear red vinyl!
Reminds me of the old big band records my parents had when I was a kid,
they were also on clear red vinyl.