The leader of Dayton, Ohios Guided by Voicesmodern rocks best answer to a 60s British Invasion bandmarks his birthday with the simultaneous release of two albums this week, Coast to Coast Carpet of Love and Standard Gargoyle Decisions. The dual releases arent that out of character for Pollard, who is known for being prolific. By my count, hes already released at least five single albums, two double-albums, a bunch of singles and two books of art this year. Keeping track of all his work and side-projects can be an expensive hobby.
Even with all of his output, the latest two albumsofficially Pollards major releases of the yearstill offer plenty of surprises. Coast to Coast strips away most of the artier sounds and more cryptic lyrics of his past work, leaving 16 alt-pop songs that echo the Beatless Rubber Soul and R.E.M.s best work. Its as consistent and radio-friendly as anything Pollard has done.
If Coast to Coast shows off Pollards mature
side, Standard Gargoyle Decisions proves he can still rockhard.
Guitars and vocals are turned up, aiming for a punkier and more-varied
sound across its 17 tracks. Songs hint of glam-era David Bowie and the
Pixies, not to mention classic Guided by Voices lo-fi anthems. While Coast
to Coast would be a great starting-off point for those unfamiliar
with his work, this album might appeal more to Pollards hard-core