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Our Cubehouse Still Rocks

Boston Spaceships

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Album Review

If Robert Pollard's project Boston Spaceships hit a snag after a strong start with their third album, 2009's Zero to 99, they're back to running full speed ahead on their fourth LP, 2010's Our Cubehouse Still Rocks. Once again partnered with John Moen of the Decemberists and Chris Slusarenko of the Takeovers and Sprinkler, Pollard easily conjures up the sound of classic-era Guided by Voices on Our Cubehouse Still Rocks, and if stylistically this music feels more like a look to the past than a bold step into the future, let's be honest — which album are you more likely to listen to for pleasure, Bee Thousand or From a Compound Eye? At its best, this album sounds like Guided by Voices without the tape noise and the odd pointless tracks, and the strength of this album (and the bulk of the Boston Spaceships catalog) speaks to the reason Boston Spaceships stand out from Pollard's solo work. Pollard works best with sympathetic musicians willing to work up a sweat and act as a sounding board regarding which songs are working and which are not, and by all appearances that's what he has in Moen and Slusarenko, and as a consequence this has been a stronger vehicle than anything Pollard has given himself since the end of GBV (with the exception of his one-off collaboration with Tommy Keene, the Keene Brothers). With former GBV guitarist Doug Gillard and Sam Coomes of Quasi making guest appearances, Our Cubehouse Still Rocks has no shortage of guitar firepower, and with tough six-string snarl dominating much of the album, these 16 songs have more than enough rock & roll muscle to give shape and power to Pollard's pop-flavored melodies. It's this fusion of melody and power that makes Boston Spaceships a great vehicle for the kind of songs Pollard writes so well — whatever sort of house this is, there's no arguing that it rocks, and pretty enthusiastically, too.

Biography

Formed: July, 2008

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

After disbanding Guided by Voices late in 2004, the ever prolific and busy Robert Pollard worked on solo projects, set up his own Guided by Voices label, and nursed a few GBV odds and ends through the pipeline before starting a new band, Boston Spaceships, with Chris Slusarenko (the Takeovers, Sprinkler) and John Moen (the Decemberists, the Dharma Bums). The band played only seventeen live shows total during their tenure, existing primarily as a recording project except for a single short tour in...
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Our Cubehouse Still Rocks, Boston Spaceships
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