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Alien Lanes

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Editors’ Notes

1995's Alien Lanes was the first Guided By Voices album to be recorded with the knowledge that listeners beyond their local following would be tuning in. The unexpected cult success of 1994's Bee Thousand established a new audience for the group and the band responded with a tighter, focused collection of pop gems. They refused to abandon their deliberately lo-fi ways, recording as always to their home 4-track cassette machine, but singer Robert Pollard does seem intrigued with upping the hooks and the overall pop quotient, keeping the songs shockingly brief in many cases. As a result, songs such as "A Salty Salute," "Watch Me Jumpstart," "As We Go Up, We Go Down," "Motor Away," and "My Valuable Hunting Knife" sound as if they're being transmitted from a distant, obscure radio station from a far off galaxy where the Beatles and '80s Britpop are making a comeback of sorts. The amazing echoplexed vocals of "(I Wanna Be a) Dumbcharger," the zipped-up guitars of "Game of P***ks," and the back-porch folk of "They're Not Witches" captivate from each angle.

Customer Reviews

best of the breast

As a dribbling devotee of all gbv great and small, I stand behind alien lanes as their best (as measured by the standard rock ratio: fist clenches + finger points at strangers + increases of volume control / album time).

What is music?

Someone needs to get their definitions checked. Since when does the length of a song define it's impact as music? The whole album is one catchy riff after another. It's amazing how they can come up with songs in the fashion they do. You begin to realize, how ballsy it is that they aren't using more time to really explore the guitar patterns they create. The fact is, they don't have to; because the men in Guided By Voices are creative geniuses. Their poetry and their guitar signatures all set in the Lo-Fi sound are the things that define individualism in the music. Give them a chance.

Old guys rock....

Combining innovative spirit, and old-amp-in-the-garage tenacity, Guided by Voices reminded everyone who'd listened that rock and roll doesn't ask you to have lots of training or to have expensive equipment or to pass an audition. All it asks is that you strap it on and let if fly. A worthy follow up to the acclaimed Bee Thousand, GBV created a minor classic filled with drunken power cords, keening slightly out of tune voices, and short attention span anthems (like Auditorium and Motor Away) that prove you don't need stadiums and 5 minute drum solos to get the lighters....or the Bud bottles...into the air. A must have for those who like their rock and roll grungy, simple and earnest.


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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