I remember 1996 was the year I first got on the internet.
I would go to my dad’s or my brother’s house’s
to use their computers.
I looked up Guided By Voices and found their official website,
GBV.com and through that, Rockathon.
Rockathon at the time had only a few GBV items for sale,
a few t-shirts, a beer opener (wish I bought one),
Fan Club memberships, the Live in Los Angeles VHS tape
and the “Tonics and Twisted Chasers” cd.
I don’t remember the vinyl lp for sale,
It must have sold out before I found the site.
I ordered the Fan Club membership, the live video tape
and “Tonics and Twisted Chasers”.
That was my first internet order and
my first Guided By Voices order,
which continues to this day.
On a side note,
That cd along with about 10 other GBV cds,
got stolen out of my car, during a GBV show in LA.
The CD of “Tonics and Twisted Chasers” that got stolen
didn’t have printing on the cd, lyrics or any color on the cover,
and was printed on different paper.
The only positive part of getting those cds stolen is
when I replaced them, which I did right away,
I was getting the newer upgraded version of “Tonics and Twisted Chasers”.
The original vinyl version of the album had nineteen tracks,
while the compact disc has five bonus tracks.
There are really no notes for this album,
but I suspect this album recorded after “Alien Lanes”
and before “Under the Bushes Under the Stars”.
Only Bob and Tobin Sprout appear on the album,
and most of the songs were co-written by the two.
Though I did love “Under the Bushes Under the Stars”
with its bigger production, I did miss the bands earlier Lo-Fi sound.
“Tonics and Twisted Chasers” filled that need.
“Tonics and Twisted Chasers” could have been a follow up
to “Alien Lanes” or with a little polish a follow up to
“Under the Bushes, Under the Stars”.
A few of the songs appeared on later releases like,
“Dayton, Ohio 19 Something and 5”, “My Thoughts Are a Gas”,
“Ha Ha Man”, “Reptilian Beauty Secrets”, “The Key Losers”
and “Girl From the Sun”,
which brings up a great point about Robert Pollard.
Most songwriters wouldn’t just toss away a whole cd
of songs for a fan release and not re-record them for a future
album, but as we have all seen,
Robert Pollard has no shortage of great songs.
That is the Genius of Robert Pollard.
It's not like “Tonics and Twisted Chasers” is a bunch of
toss away tracks or left overs,
songs like “Satellite”, “Top Chick Silver Chord”,
“Unbaited Vicar of Scorched Earth”, “Optional Bases Opposed”,
and one of my favorites, “158 Years of Beautiful Sex”,
could easily find their way on a GBV album.
All in all, “Tonics and Twisted Chasers”, fits right up there
with Guided By Voices earlier lo-fi classics like,
“Propeller”, “Vampire On Titus”, “Bee Thousand” and
And like those albums,
no self-respecting GBV fan should be without it.