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By Robert Collins

Guided By Voices
Universal Truths and Cycles
Matador Records


Bob Pollard and co. release their 579th album

Back in 1995, when Guided By Voices released Alien Lanes (the lo-fi Revolver, you MUST own it), it seemed it would only be a matter of time before the music world threw up it hands and accepted singer/songwriter Robert Pollard as its new messiah.

Obviously, it didn’t quite work out that way. Too many records and not enough tunes consigned GBV to early afternoon slots on the Reading Second Stage ever since. Universal Truths and Cycles isn’t going to shake up the world then, but it is a genuine return to form. Coherently incoherent throughout (tracks include Christian Animation Torch Carriers and Factory of Raw Essentials) one-song-a-day man Pollard has reacquainted himself with the joys of guitar mayhem and proved he can still churn out skewed pop with the very best. ‘Everywhere with Helicopter’ is the best punk-pop track you won’t hear this year. Seek and ye shall find.