Guided By Voices

Since the early Eighties, more than twenty musicians have been Guided By Voices. The brainchild of Robert Pollard, GBV has still managed to pull off a cohesive string of records, consistently forcing a Siddhartha six-handed bitchslap of sound to fit into a fistful of recording space. With Universal Truths & Cycles, GBV returns to the super-stripped power displayed on the 1996 Under the Bushes Under the Stars, proving that these guys still write songs that match R.E.M.'s Life's Rich Pageant in both tune and technology. GBV brings you inside the sound with the squeaky exhale of guitar strings between chords on "Factory of Raw Essentials" and a collective studio yuck on "Skin Parade." Pollard's voice is clear and crisply enunciated, like a cross-legged storyteller, while Doug Gillard, the prexy of indie guitar, gives seemingly awkward melodies wings. With treble-heavy thunder ("Back to the Lake," "Cheyenne") and blurts of Renaissance ("The Ids Are Allright"), Universal Truths & Cycles sprouts from the seeds GBV planted way back when, even more firmly pounding the stake in the group's claim to be most influential band on four tracks.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Shawn Bean