FROM A COMPOUND EYE
ORANGE COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL
BY MARK MUELLER
4 out of 4 Briefcases
Could Dayton, Ohio's Robert Pollard possibly have anything new to say
after releasing some 1,000 songs in the past decade with indie rock favorite
Guided By Voices? With "From a Compound Eye," a 26-song solo
effort, Pollard proves to have more than a few new tricks up his sleeve.
The record brings back memories of classic Guided By Voices, known for
its prolific releases of lo-fi alternative rock. "From a Compound
Eye" features Beatles hooks and punk guitar anthems covered with
melancholic, if often undecipherable, lyrics. The record's shortest and
longest tracks are highlights. "I'm a Strong Lion" is the catchiest
68-second song you're likely to hear. "Conqueror of the Moon"
veers from an off-kilter acoustic track to prog rock epic, all in five
minutes. The record isn't likely to be big with fans of mainstream music.
Its appeal is to the more musically adventurous who appreciate well-crafted,
if not offbeat, songs. Pollard has managed to make a "mature"
record that straddles the lo-fi genre and the classic rock world he always
has believed himself to be part of. He does so in a way that doesn't sap
the music of its joy.