Two thousand nineteen so far has turned out to be very prolific year
for Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices.
First with two six-song eps, “Wine Cork Stonehenge” and “100 Dougs”
That were released on the same day.
A little more than a month later, a new Guided By Voices 32 track double album titled
“Zeppelin Over China.”
Then two months later, two more six song eps, “Umlaut Over The Ozone” and
“1901 Acid Rock” and like the two prior eps, both were released on the same day.
“Warp And Woof” collects the four eps, re-sequenced by Robert Pollard.
I’m sure there are some out there thinking,
“If I buy all four eps, why would I want the album”
Both the eps and “Warp And Woof” stand on their own
as separate projects and you get the great Pollard artwork.
But “Warp And Woof” should not be overlooked,
it is another great Guided By Voices album,
not just some thrown together compilation of eps.
I’ve listened to the four eps many times,
Though it contains the same 24 songs,
“Warp And Woof” is a completely different listening experience.
The magic is in Robert Pollards sequencing of the songs,
most of which fade or segue into each other.
I actually suspect that “Warp And Woof” was produced first and
the tracks were divided between the four eps after.
But no matter, because it’s a great album.
I would say “Warp And Woof” is a cross between the short songs which segue into each other on “Alien Lanes,” with the musical progressions the band and Bob’s songwriting has made which culminate with “Zeppelin Over China”; GBV’s prior album.
Here is a short run down of some of the songs.
“Bury the Mouse”
When I first heard this song open the “100 Dougs” ep,
I thought it would be a great song to open the album.
Great choice Bob!
Bob has a knack of making great opening tracks for albums.
Starts out sounding lo-fi, then goes wide-screen
Going into Circus Devils territory.
The one positive thing I can say about the end of Circus Devils
is songs of the style the band did, make their way onto GBV albums,
giving the albums a more diverse, experimental sound.
“Dead Liquor Store”
A favorite of mine.
One of Bob’s one and a half minute Magnum Opus’.
It would be a concert favorite.
I find this to be a combination of a song that would fit on a Pollard solo album, but just weird enough to be a Circus Devils song.
Another great Pollard Pop Rock track.
“Photo Range Within”
A nice, kinda weird pop song.
Love the guitars on this one, brilliant Pop/Rock!
“Down the Island”
Has that dream-like Psych feel that “The Liquid Observer”
from Circus Devils had, love it.
Excellent! One of those anthemic songs that I can imagine
Bob doing one of his kicks on stage.
This song screams “single” Great GBV Pop/Rock.
“More Reduction Linda”
Recorded live? don’t think so,
sounds like the audience was pre-recorded
but still a great song.
After which Bob announces the title of the next song,
his intro sounds like it was taken from his demo.
“Cool Jewels and Aprons”
A good example of what makes GBV great.
Heavy rhythm guitar and great Pop/Rock hooks.
The first thought that came to me was Boston Spaceships
“It Will Never Be Simple”
A Beautiful Doug Gillard written instrumental.
One of those songs that sound like they were made to listen to
while driving through miles of highway on a warm summer day with the windows down.
or perhaps for the opening credits of an early 70’s lo-budget movie.
The longest song, clocking in at two and a half minutes.
I am all for the adding of instrumental tracks on GBV records,
they add a nice touch.
“The Stars Behind Us”
Classic GBV, Slow, sludgy with weird ambient noise.
“Coming Back from Now On”
Cool rocker. Another live (yeah right) track.
Anyone remember “New You (You Can See and Believe)” from the first Circus Devils album?
“The Pipers, The Vipers, The Snakes!”
Another Favorite, Hopefully will be played live.
“Time Remains in Central Position”
Sounds like it would fit perfectly on a Pollard solo album.
“End It With Light”
Excellent song to end the album with, leaves you wanting more.
My only complaint is the absence of a lyric sheet,
but being such a great album, it’s very easy to overlook.