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Philadelphia Weekly

Guided By Voices
Earthquake Glue
Matador Records

It's hard to believe that after 19 albums, the Guided By Voices sound is still developing. While a statement like that could be considered heresy in some indie circles, a fact it is. Consider 1999's Ric Ocasek-produced Do the Collapse, an album that appeared to represent the final shift in GBV's slow departure from ultra lo-fi homemade four tracks to highly polished pieces of studio trickery. Fast-forward four years and let Robert Pollard bend your ear for a bit with a few tracks on Earthquake Glue. This may not be a complete reversal of the trend of moving toward a cleaner sound, but it's not Alien Lanes or Bee Thousand either. Conversely, Earthquake Glue seems to have recaptured, in part at least, the unbridled and breezy joy of the early GBV pop experiments. Along with a nod to the past, there's the slightly more mature Pollard, penning thoughtful lyrics within GBV's signature power-pop structures. There's still a formula here, but it remains a work in progress.