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Dirt Culture

Guided By Voices
Universal Truths and Cycles Singles Set
#20-23 in the Fading Captain Series

In another move to show that Guided by Voices are fully aware that the bulk of their fans donít shop at the mall and can actually appreciate the greatness of vinyl, here we are presented with a set of four 7Ē singles from the new Universal Truths and Cycles album. All four singles in this set are I guess going to eventually be released as individual singles, each with a non-LP b-side. I guess itís kinda cruel to review this, since itís pretty much sold-out, but you still deserve to hear my expert opinion. I will take up space and go through every single, every song. I know you love me.

Fading Captain #20 Back to the Lake / Dig Through My Window Ė First off, just let me say that the four songs chosen to be put out as singles here are all great examples of a truly great rock album. So we begin with Back to the Lake, which opens up with what sounds like a little kids piano and then kicks into a pretty rocking number. Another great Pollard chorus, thatís get stuck in your head for days. Dig Through My Window features a slower, Smothered in Hugs-like riff, with some beautiful vocal work by Pollard.

Fading Captain #21 Cheyenne / Visit This Place Ė Cheyenne is one of the tracks I hit the repeat button after more than others. A great little guitar intro, somewhat similar to Airport 5ís Stifled Man Casino starts off this incredible song that features one of the highest notes Pollard has tackled. Visit This Place is a great homage to the Who, with a definite Townshend-esque opening riff. I donít believe Iíve heard this track live yet, but it would be a for-sure crowd pleaser!

Fading Captain #22 Everywhere With Helicopter / Action Speaks Volumes Ė This is one of GbVís hardest songs. Thereís even a pretty ripping guitar solo thatíll knock your block off! I seem to have noticed a few more solos on the new record. An excellent progression. If youíve seen GbV perform this song live, you know what a flat-out rocker it is. Sorry lo-fi nerds, but yes, Guided by Voices does rock, and they do so severely! Action Speaks Volumes is a psychedelic wall of sound. I could have seen GbV doing a twenty-minute version of this song at Monterey Pop!

Fading Captain #23 Universal Truths and Cycles / Beg For a Wheelbarrow Ė Yep, thatís right, I said it! Quite possibly the finest tune Pollard has penned, thinks I! I get chills when I listen to this, way more chills than the usual ones GbV gives me. Just listen to it, youíll see. Beg for a Wheelbarrow is a bit of a darker song, with an almost drunken Irish beer chant of a chorus. Very cool. Okay, so thatís my look at the singles set. I must again stress that I think itís very cool when bands, not just GbV, put out stuff like this, collectorís shit and such. It shows a definite allegiance to the fans, and believe me, we appreciate it! Thatís all.