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Cincinnati City Beat
Guided By Voices
After 20 years, a review of a new Guided by Voices album is almost as automatic as the album itself. Robert Pollard has been providing annual proof of his de facto status as the American Pete Townshend through every personnel shift and upheaval that GBV has endured in the last half of their career. After the major label experiments of Do the Collapse and Isolation Drills, both of which at least tangentially detailed Pollard's emotional state during the dissolution of his marriage, GBV returned to Matador for the acclaimed Universal Truth and Cycles, a blending of the slicker production of their previous two albums with the lo-fi quirkiness of their earliest Dayton home tapes. Earthquake Glue continues along the same path, evidence of Pollard's healing emotional health and gloriously invincible Who/Move fixation (the majestic "Secret Star," the hyper-charged "I'll Replace You With Machines"). Through it all, his effortless and tireless Indie Rock energy leaves the sneaking suspicion that he hasn't yet pulled out all the stops and delivered on the past 20 years of exquisitely consistent potential. CityBeat grade: A.