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The Grand Hour - EP

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Album Review

The first Guided By Voices release after being signed to Scat Records, the Grand Hour is a short, ragged mess most noteworthy for its inclusion of the fantastic lo-fi rocker "Shocker in Gloomtown." Though only about 90 seconds in length, "Shocker" became a GBV concert staple and was covered by fellow Dayton natives the Breeders on their Head to Toe EP. The other five songs are indicative of other Guided By Voices material from this era: unfinished pop melodies buried in hiss and disjointed noise. "I'll Get Over It" and the Tobin Sprout contribution "Off the Floor" have the most promising melodies, but each clocks in at less then a minute in length. The only other notable achievement here is the closer, "Bee Thousand," which may be Guided By Voices' silliest moment. While "Bee Thousand" and "Alien Lanes" would provide inspiration for the titles of two of their finest albums, nothing here, save "Shocker in Gloomtown," would interest anyone other than the most hardcore fan. But, since Guided By Voices fans are measured by the sheer number of Robert Pollard recordings they own, the Grand Hour is a necessity for all completists.

Biography

Formed: 1985 in Dayton, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Inspired equally by jangle pop and arty post-punk, Guided by Voices created a series of trebly, hissy indie rock records filled with infectiously brief pop songs that fell somewhere between the British Invasion and prog rock. After recording six self-released albums between 1986 and 1992, the Dayton, Ohio-based band attracted a handful of fans within the American indie rock underground. With the 1994 release of Bee Thousand, the group became an unexpected alternative rock sensation, winning positive...
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