I wrote a pretty long review of this ep about a month and a half ago,
but It disappeared off my IPad never to be seen again.
I forgot most of what I wrote,
but hopefully as I go along it will come back to me.
I’m always fascinated at the path that rock performers and bands take
to get to where they ultimately arrive in their careers.
Usually the bands and performers who make it right away,
or release their best material right out of the gate,
are usually those with the shortest history.
There are those who are lucky enough to work their way and progress
into a great band with a long history.
Guided By Voices and Robert Pollard are the latter.
“Forever Since Breakfast” is the starting point in the bands
recording history, as far as what the band released under
the name Guided By Voices.
“Forever Since Breakfast”, like the next five albums that followed,
were self-funded and self-released.
The ep title gets its name from a response that Charles Manson
gave to Tom Snyder when asked about his age.
Originally released as a 12 inch ep in a 500 copy pressing in 1986.
I didn’t actually hear it till 1999,
thanks to Napster!
To me “Forever Since Breakfast” sounds a lot like R.E.M.
at their starting point, the ep “Chronic Town”.
R.E.M. was my favorite band till 1992,
after that, I had a mild interest in the band,
but I didn’t like the direction they went.
But when I found Guided By Voices In 1995,
even though I didn’t hear “Forever Since Breakfast” at that time,
I could hear a R.E.M. influence in the sound.
As a matter of fact, on the releases that followed
since I discovered GBV, like “Under the Bushes Under the Stars”
and “Mag Earwhig”!, made R.E.M. seem like a bigger disappointment,
because this is what R.E.M. should have grown to become.
I always saw R.E.M.’s earlier, cooler albums as a hint
of future greatness the band could and would attain,
but never did.
Guided By Voices has long fulfilled that promise.
Myself I enjoy “Forever Since Breakfast” quite a bit,
the jangly Byrd’s-like guitars are an influence that
both bands share.
I think it would be cool to hear the current line up perform
“Land of Danger”, “Sometimes I Cry” and “She Wants To Know” live,
just to see what kind of spin they can put on them.
“Like I Do” hints at those songs Bob would record with just an acoustic guitar
and his vocal and a weird background,
In this case, what sounds like tv dialogue and Bobs friend Geo.
“Let’s Ride” shows the band jangly dreamy psychedelic pop side.
The band perhaps haven’t found their sound yet
and Bob had yet to find his identity as a singer,
but they were on their way.
The ep was recorded in a professional studio,
unlike many of their more popular releases,
but Pollard wasn’t happy with the sound
calling it sterile.
Fans also seem indifferent to the release,
claiming the band sounds very derivative of R.E.M.
and it doesn’t really represent the bands sound.
I think instead of saying what the EP is or isn’t
or comparing it to the bands classic releases,
it should be considered what it is,
a good start with lots of room to evolve.
Compared to what Bob and the band recorded prior
to “Forever Since Breakfast”, recordings eventually released
under the bands “Hazard Hotrods” and “Acid Ranch”,
the songs on the Ep are well written and performed.