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Law of Inertia
Jason Murphy

Guided By Voices
Universal Truths and Cycles
Matador Records

The good news: GBV is back on Matador!! The bad news: shit, I cant think of a thing, because this record is flat out awesome (or a flat beauty, if you will). This would be a good time to tell you that only Sonic Youth ranks above Guided By Voices in terms of bands I am seriously obsessed with. I have, however, been a little disappointed with the last two GBV full lengths on TVT (too sterile and flat). This album, though, blew the dust off what I assumed the band was all about these days, and put a big smile on my face in the process. This is a big time rocker like the last two, no question, but back is the raw (but not lo-fi) production, which is a definite plus. Doug Gillard has also never sounded better (his guitar solos on Christian Animation Torch Carriers are unreal), making me wonder what this band ever did without him. A lot of people are going to call this a return to form, but I would disagree. This sounds like a band that is moving onto another phase in its evolution, taking with it the best aspects of what came before. This album IS the soundtrack for this summer and is already listed in pen (not erasable pencil) on my top ten list of 2002. Hell yeah!