Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Guided By Voices - Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia

Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia (1989) – If Sandbox suffered from excessive sonic consistency, this one’s all over the place: aside from the lo-fi demo quality of it all, one track barely sounds like another. The overall impression is that the band doesn’t have a clue what the hell they are doing – they’re just entering their basement studio, plugging in, and seeing if any of the songs stick. Unfortunately, most of them don’t – the heavily reverbated ballad “Liar’s Tale” is the only song among this batch that makes a memorably impression on my ears. And the band hadn’t yet figured out how to make the lo-fi aesthetic work for them instead of against them – the Radio Shack quality of the recordings is just plain ugly. There are a handful of bright spots if you bother digging, but why bother? *1/2

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