In my review of “Do The Collapse” I mentioned how Bob and the band
had to make some compromises with TVT records who was their new
So why was Bob so eager to sign with the record company
when there were others and even bigger record companies looking
to sign the band?
TVT Records would allow Bob to self-release as many records
as he wanted, this was always a sore spot with Matador,
GBV’s previous record company.
Which was part of the reason for leaving the label.
This opened the floodgates.
In 1999 Robert Pollard started the Fading Captain Series.
The first release in the series was Bob’s third solo album,
Bob plays guitars and keyboards, with Greg Demos on bass
and Jim Macpherson on drums with a few guest shots
such as Tobin Sprout on piano on one song and Bob’s then-wife
screaming on another.
“Kid Marine” doesn’t sound like a GBV album,
it has more of an acoustic, earthy and almost hypnotic tone to it.
You could call “Kid Marine” Bob’s singer-songwriter album,
perhaps not quite James Taylor or Cat Stevens,
but more in line with David Bowie’s “Hunky Dory.”
The opening track “Submarine Teams” and “Far-Out Crops” were concert
favorites during the “Do The Collapse” tour.
“White Gloves Come Off”, “Flings Of The Waistcoat Crowd”, “Snatch Candy”,
and “The Big Make-Over” are beautifully brilliant.
“Television Prison” is one song that could be a GBV song
with its chunky post-punk guitar.
“Kid Marine” is perhaps my favorite of Robert Pollards solo albums,
because it sounds like a solo album, without the trappings of
a Guided By Voices album.
I wish more of Bob’s solo albums were like this.
It’s the kind of album you would listen to while driving
through hundreds of miles through the flatlands of America
in the summer, with a warm balmy breeze in the air.