Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Guided By Voices - King Shit & the Golden Boys

King Shit and the Golden Boys (1988-1993) – Unreleased odds and sods from the years indicated above, this is actually more consistent and a hell of a lot more interesting than any of the first four proper LPs. Digging through the junk pile to find the gems is half the fun of being a GBV fan and the golden boys outweigh the shit in this particular pile. Actually, the more I listen to it, the more this coheres as a concept album: Pollard’s tribute to Wire. It hit me when realizing how much “Squirmish Frontal Room” sounded like a Chairs Missing outtake. Short tracks more fragments than fully realized songs and angular melodies/riffs rubbing against the room as abrasively as sandpaper – yeah, it’s no coincidence that Pollard once named Wire’s Pink Flag as his favorite album, as a whole buncha tunes owe an obvious debt to that ur-ArtPunk classic. Anyway, there aren’t really any top-tier GBV tunes found around here and there’s definitely quite a bit of dross and half-baked experimentation, so it’s definitely for GBV fans than casual acquaintances. Not that a casual listener would be listening to this in the first place, since it’s only available as part of the boxed set. ***

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