I always felt that Bob was trying to get away from his Guided By Voices past
with what he was releasing before and post 2004 breakup, with his solo albums
and side projects, which is only natural.
But with the formation of Boston Spaceships, Bob returned with more upbeat pop/rock
than he was doing before the forming of the band.
“Zero to 99”, the bands third album, embraced his GBV past by recording proper
versions of five songs that appeared as demos on the first “Suitcase” box set.
“A Good Circuitry Soldier” which was originally a demo featuring only Bob and
an acoustic guitar, becomes Majestic with the full band treatment.
“Trashed Aircraft Baby”, “Meddle” and “Exploding Anthills”
become powerful garage rockers.
But “Zero To 99” is much more than an album of rerecorded GBV demos.
The album goes from one great song to another, with an exception of
“Found Obstruction Rock 'n' Rolls (We're the Ones Who Believe in Love)”
not one of my favorites, but considering how great everything else is, it’s fine.
If radio was what it was in the 70’s, many of these songs would
be radio staples, songs like, “How Wrong You Are”, “Let It Rest for a Little While”.
(both which have music videos) and “Question Girl All Right”,
which has become a regular on Guided By Voices recent tour set lists.
So much great stuff here, in an Alternative universe where radio
plays rock music that doesn’t suck, “The Comedian”, “Mr. Ghost Town”,
“Psycho Is a Bad Boy” and “Radical Amazement” are played
a couple times a day.
If I wanted to recommend a Guided By Voices related album to a friend
who was unaware of the band, I would most likely choose this one
because it seems more mainstream and accessible to those who
may not “get” some of GBV’s stranger stuff.
Rockathon Records found a box of vinyl copies of this album,
which has been out-of-stock for a few years, in their store room,
and they are currently available at their website
for a limited time.
I love the artwork on the cover,
worth having even if you don’t have a record player.
I think “Let It Beard” is an amazing album,
but “Zero to 99” is my favorite, if I HAD to pick one.
A+ Excellent Album!