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Class Clown Spots a UFO

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iTunes Review

GBV spins raw silk from the very same thread, yet again, on its probably-17th studio album. But didn’t these bedroom/garage-recording cult favorites/geniuses already exhibit a deft return to form with early 2012's Let's Go Eat the Factory? How is it possible that there’s already another new album with more than 20 obscurely titled songs from the Dayton, Ohio–based indie rock act, just six months later? How many times can Bob Pollard mine the same collage of Swell Maps and The Who, throwing obscure, early R.E.M.-ish lyrics atop stunted anthems that instantly make listeners want to hear the same song over and over? Granted, GBV and Pollard himself have made a few missteps here and there, but there’s hardly one on this album, which just might be the aesthetic equal of 1995's Alien Lanes. The album—recorded with the classic mid-‘90s lineup—is named for a song first released on 2009’s Suitcase 3 collection. Originally one of the group’s biggest downers, it returns here as a jaunty, McCartney/ELO-style hand-clapper.

Customer Reviews

Guided By Voices- The Gods Have Spoken

6000 characters don't do this album justice, so I'll keep it short and sweet. This is the album of the year. GBV are back and at the top of their game. This album features more songs by Tobin Sprout, and it delivers on so may levels nothing comes close to this masterpiece.

Thank you GBV!

Now that's what I'm talkin about! Just in time to be on permanent rotation for the summer months. He who goes forth on the Fourth with a fifth does not go forth on the fifth! Weeeeeee!

More top notch rock from Guided by Voices.

Pollard has penned quite a few new classics for the GBV catalog (Jon the Croc, No Transmission, chain to the moon, and several others), but guitarist Tobin Sprout steals the show again (as he did on Let's Go Eat the Factory) with songs like "all of this will go","starfire" and "forever until it breaks".

As much as I love the "mark II GBV" albums ("isolation drills" and "universal truths" are favorites that come to mind), it always felt like something was missing. Class Clown Spots a UFO has it; that amateurish charm, the caution to the wind enthusiasm that made Alien Lanes, Bee Thousand, Propeller, and Under the Bushes, Under the Stars the classics that we, the GBV faithful, obsess over.

Sure, not all of it works, but when it does (and that's far more often than not here), the songs burrow into your subconscious and surface when you least expect it.


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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