With Sunfish Holy Breakfast, Guided By Voices once
again deliver the kind of lo-fi pop masterpiece that first got us excited about
this Dayton, Ohio combo. How writers Robert Pollard and Tobin Sprout keep
coming up with cool pop hooks to anchor their minimalist works is a mystery we
won't bother to unravel today. Just know that in a year that has already seen
numerous GBV releases including "solo" albums from both Sprout and Pollard,
this year-end gift does not disappoint.
"Jabberstroker," the CD EP opener,
somehow manages, with just electric rhythm guitar, bass and vocals, to recall
London circa 1964. "Stabbing A Star" sounds like something the Beatles might
have whipped up in the garage, while "Canteen Plums" is pure power pop heaven.
And just try to resist the ecstatic multi-track guitar buzz of "Cocksoldiers
and Their Postwar Stubble." Most of this 23 minute EP was cut around the same
time as the group's last album, Under the Bushes Under the Stars, was
recorded. But it's a much more accessible work. And don't be put off by those
three longhairs sitting cross-legged on the cover. GBV haven't gone hippie on
Meanwhile, who exactly comprises GBV seems unclear. Work on a new
album (working title: Honey Locust Honkytonk) has proceeded. Some
sessions with just Sprout and Pollard took place, while others saw Robert
Pollard, Mitch Mitchell and Jim Pollard working in Cleveland with two other
bands, Cobra Verde and Gem. The next full album is expected out in June, and a
tour is being planned.