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Vampire On Titus

Guided By Voices

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Album Review

The home-crafted appeal of Guided by Voices finally reached the general public when Vampire on Titus was released in 1993. The band was on a roll at the time, pumping out creative gems like a band possessed. With one of their very best lineups, they explore the many aspects of their limited production skills without any pretension. Bandleader Robert Pollard found his voice around this time, going from a tuneful yelp to a dark croon effortlessly. And the marvelous Tobin Sprout was still with the band at the time, contributing several memorable songs that mixed up things nicely. Songs float in and out with a tight efficiency that is not typical of many likeminded artists. But without one extra second wasted on a melody, the album's strengths are only made more evident. Pollard's voice had never sounded as dark and anxious as it does on "#2 in the Model Home Series," yet on most tracks he shows an endless optimism that brings to mind Warehouse-era Bob Mould. The beautiful "Marchers in Orange" is where his voice gets its best showcase, wailing away despite the weak production. The band really does display a tremendous amount of power and creativity on this effort, and fans of indie rock should try and find this as soon as possible. Like the Replacements' Hootenanny or Pavement's Slanted & Enchanted, this kicked off a several-album streak of brilliance that went unnoticed by the mainstream but collected quite a following in the underground.

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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