Published Mar 19, 2018Guided by Voices were on a quest to make the perfect rock song. Now, they're here to make the perfect rock album. This second reunion is one where, as a listener, you can really hear GBV's experimentation creating different formulas to get there. The release of their recent effort, Space Gun, sounds closest to what one imagines could be GBV's final form.
Space Gun is a release that sonically departs from their last three releases since their 2016 reunion, and is a little more what you would expect from a GBV album. You have some sing-along mainstays, including the title track and "Blink Blank"; it's slightly different, while comfortingly the same. It already fills you with nostalgia, with the album not yet attached to any specific memories.
That being said, I'm interested, but not particularly invested in this. This release is slightly more what I'm used to from GBV, but the least experimental release of their second reunion — something I was excited for them to take to the next level. Though personally critical, I'm still excited about what's in store for GBV.
Though seemingly exhausting, GBV in their last couple of releases have managed to remain relevant and evolving using their classic band status to their advantage: to do whatever the fuck they want to. It seems as though this second reunion may be one where they're finally finding the sound they've been looking for as a reincarnated band — embracing their past and ready to bring in some of the new. Space Gun is one step closer to that. (Rockathon)