Before I start this review, I have to point something out.
As I was typing in the date of this albums release,
something struck me.
This album is only 10 years old.
When I think of all the amazing work Robert Pollard has produced
in the last ten years, it’s staggering.
Boston Spaceship’s first album, “Brown Submarine” is the beginning
of a major up-swing in Pollard’s recording career.
I’ve always thought that after “Do The Collapse” going into “Isolation Drills,”
Robert Pollard was going through a lot of shit in his personal life.
Some of the songs on “Isolation Drills” reflect that.
This period would last well into the break-up of Guided By Voices in 2004
and the couple years that followed.
Bob, always the trooper, would continue recording various side projects
at a constant rate.
But in 2008, with his new record company, Guided By Voices Inc.
and a new band, Boston Spaceships, which Bob said was not just a side band,
it was like opening a window on a new era.
It was the light at the end of the tunnel.
Boston Spaceships rose from the ashes of The Takeovers,
which was a side project with multi-instrumentalist Chris Slusarenko,
who played bass on the last Guided By Voices album, “Half Smiles of the Decomposed”
and the tour that followed.
Slusarenko performed all the music on the Takeovers first release, “Turn To Red.”
Drummer John Moen of the Decemberists, played on half of the songs on
The Takeovers second release, “Bad Football.”
Those fans who wanted more of the Pop/Rock leanings of “Glad Girls”
and “Teenage FBI” will flip for “Winton’s Atomic Bird” and “You Satisfy Me,”
the latter was released as a single.
On “Rat Trap” and “Ate It Twice” you can hear the excitement in Pollard’s voice,
you can even imagine him jumping in the air.
“Go For The Exit” like a lot of the songs here, could fit on a GBV release.
“Still in Rome” is among my favorites, starts out normal,
then in comes the overdriven guitar.
Fans of Guided By Voices 2000’s material may find “Brown Submarine”
to be a return to form, but I consider it a step up from that.
With most recording artists, when they make an album this good,
the only direction to go is down or just not-as-good on the next.
But as hindsight will show us with Robert Pollard, each release is as great
and even better than the prior release.
The next ten years won’t only be a return to form for Robert Pollard,
but he will make some amazing albums which stand firmly among his