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Times of London
Stevie Chick

Guided By Voices
Universal Truths and Cycles
Matador Records

4 stars

Two decades and umpteen albums into his dazzling second career, former-teacher and full-time craftsman of indie-rock curios Robert Pollard rejects the glossy sheen of his band's last two efforts for a return to the rustic, scattershot genius of yore. UTAC is an eighteen track shuffle through acoustic whimsy ('Zap'), Who-esque power-pop ('Everywhere With Helicopter'), churning prog-rock ('Car Language') and oddball pop genius ('Cheyenne'). The overall effect is not unlike someone taking you for a breakneck rock'n' roll history lesson, though Pollard's singular muse means that for all the variety on offer and influences worn on sleeve, each nugget charms with a hand-made warmth. Obsession this way beckons.