Guided By Robert Pollard

Go Back Snowball
Calling Zero

2002
by Propellerless

My problem is,
Sometimes before I write one of my reviews,
I go on line to see what other “real” reviewers have to say.
Not that what they say would influence what I think of the record,
because I already made up my mind before reading their opinion.

But sometimes they might point something out I missed
and probably wasn’t aware of.

Anyway, I read a review of this album where the reviewer basically said,
that Bob and Mac getting together, looks good on paper,
but it just doesn’t work.
And they seem to blame Bob.

Having read that and having absolutely no effect on my opinion,
though it does put me on the defensive.
Here is my review.

Unlike the aforementioned reviewer,
I think that “Calling Zero” is a brilliant album,
because there are so many different sounds and textures.

Go Back Snowball is a one-off side project,
teaming up Robert Pollard with Mac McCaughan of Superchunk.
Mac wrote and performed all of the music,
and Bob wrote the lyrics and sang.
I believe it worked out perfect.

I like Superchunk and Mac McCaughan’s guitar playing.
I only have three of their albums,
but I always liked the band, more than most of the time.

Superchunk fans might get mad at me for saying this,
and keep in mind I only heard 3 Superchunk albums,
but this is the best thing I’ve ever heard from McCaughan.

While I thought Superchunk albums sort of had a similar
sound through their albums,
“Calling Zero” has a lot of twist and turns,
and doesn’t seem to follow a formula.

Most of what McCaughan does on this album,
he never approaches with Superchuck,
though thankfully,
there is a lot of his trade-mark fuzzed out guitar playing.

I’ve always been a fan of Robert Pollard’s lyrics,
a few of the reasons are,
you can’t exactly make out what he’s talking about,
but it sounds good and I enjoy his word play.

“Radical Girl” could have been a Guided By Voices song,
but the organ gives it a real 60’s garage sound.
The title track “Calling Zero” is a psychedelic acoustic number
which reminds me of my favorite Beck album, “Mutations.”

In a perfect world, “Never Forget Where You Get Them”
and “It Is Divine” would have been huge hit singles,
so perfect.

The album has it’s calmer moments but also some crazy stuff
reminiscent of Circus Devils, like “Again The Waterloo” and
“Climb.”

McCaughan’s music and Pollards words and vocals are a perfect fit.
I wish they would make another album together.

Of all of the albums Robert Pollard has recorded,
"Calling Zero" is perfect to be heard with pot.
It’s a real Stoner album.

I love it!